At high noon on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Boston to face the Patriots, and for the record, there is no city called New England. The Chiefs are coming off two straight bitter losses; the Patriots played their best game of the season a week ago at Pittsburgh. So, what’s at stake this weekend for the Chiefs?
In flexing this Monday Night Football matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots to Sunday, ESPN felt this game, despite Patrick Mahomes in prime time, might not generate the ratings of the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Seattle Seahawks. Honestly, I’m happy the game was switched.
After all, Kansas City has spent much of their season either in a prime-time slot or late afternoon games. They’ve only played a noon game in week two when they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road.
The chance to play at noon against a struggling football team should help the Chiefs pursue their 8th straight AFC West Title. With the top spot in the AFC a rocky road, Kansas City must focus on winning the division and shutting up all the Denver Broncos fans who believe they’ll catch the Chiefs for division honors.
IT’S NOT HAPPENING!
Even though the Patriots played their best game of the season at Pittsburgh a week ago, they are mired in a deflating season that likely spells the end of the Bill Belichick era in New England. With rumors circulating that he’s on the way out at season end, a win against the struggling Chiefs would be a nice parting gesture by the greatest NFL coach ever.
Kansas City enters this game with more than division titles on their minds. They need to restore a sense of dominance on offense and regain the swagger that drives them to win Super Bowl LVIII.
The regular season has always been a struggle for the Chiefs. They get bored and complacent and don’t follow the rigid guidelines of focus needed to avoid five loss seasons. To date, Kansas City has repeatedly shot itself in the foot in wins and losses.
It’s hard for Chiefs fans to follow this team, and with so many blaming the wide receivers for this maddening season, it’s not their fault. When you play with Patrick Mahomes, the greatest player in the NFL today, some players don’t adjust fast enough to his ad-lib plays or his free-wheeling style.
Last year, it took JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling ten weeks to get on track. For MVS, he didn’t hit his stride until the post-season.
This season, Rashee Rice has exceeded expectations, while Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore are under tremendous pressure to do every little thing correctly. They need to be less analytical with their tasks and use their natural athletic abilities to be more helpful to the offense.
The Chiefs have four games left in the regular season against a Barber Shop Quartet of teams they should defeat by double digits. However, as has been the case lately, the Chiefs generally play down to their opponents and find themselves in nail-biters in the fourth quarter.
If you read social media, the overwhelming sentiment has become the Chiefs just aren’t that good. They are so giddy in Denver over the Chief’s recent collapse their fans believe they are invincible and destined to overtake Kansas City in the AFC West.
Listen, I know we are all down on the team, and rightfully so, but after how they lost their game to Buffalo and the reign of fire they exhumed after the game, this was a tipping point moment for this team to wake up and get out of their way.
Mahomes has never lost three games in a row as an NFL starter, and I can’t see that happening this Sunday in New England. The Chiefs’ embattled quarterback finally blew his top, which was long overdue; that should remove any doubt about his desire to show the critics this is a bump in the road, not a trend toward mediocrity.
There was a reason Mahomes jumped up the draft boards from a third-round prospect to a top-ten pick; his desire to win and his unique talents make for a nearly unbeatable combination.
He’s played injured and won. He’s played with a great cast around him and won when that cast had understudies in big games. Bottom line, he knows when to turn on the gas. On Sunday, we’ll see that firsthand.