The Chiefs begin the season tonight against the defending Super Bowl champions. The Patriots look just as loaded as they were a year ago. There aren’t too many questions coming their way up in Foxborough.
The Chiefs, however, do have questions as they begin the season. The offseason for Kansas City showed a commitment to winning now as well as winning in the future. Drafting Patrick Mahomes certainly cost them a chance at another instant impact player.
Still, the Chiefs are very much a contender in the AFC. Head coach Andy Reid surely will have this team ready for the season.
Let’s take a look at the questions.
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Can The Chiefs Get To Tom Brady?
Like I stated in my other article this morning, the Chiefs getting to Brady could decide this game. Justin Houston and Dee Ford will need to create pressure off the edge, while Chris Jones, Bennie Logan, and Allen Bailey control the middle.
In the past, teams have needed four players who can push and collapse the pocket to beat the Patriots. Luckily, the Chiefs
The Chiefs have a plan in place, and it starts with this group. If they can stop the run (which they have vastly improved on) and get pressure on Tom Brady, they can stay in the game.
Will Rookie Kareem Hunt Find Openings?
The article referenced above also talked about the Patriots gap discipline. The Chiefs will try to slow the game down and run the ball down the Patriots throat. This only works if rookie running back Kareem Hunt stays disciplined as well. The Chiefs have an above average offensive line capable of winning in the trenches. It’s up to Hunt to show his maturity in his first NFL game.
Can The Secondary Step Up Without Steven Nelson?
Steven Nelson was slotted to be the the second corner opposite Marcus Peters. Then, Nelson was placed on injured reserve with a core muscle injury. However, he can return after eight games.
So what do the Chiefs do before those eight games are up? Odds are Terrance Mitchell or Phillip Gaines takes that role, and the other will start at the nickel spot. The Patriots will take advantage of every weakness, so it’s up to the secondary to answer the call.
It’s Time For Tyreek Hill To Be A One
The Patriots are primed to take tight end Travis Kelce away. That puts pressure on second year receiver Tyreek Hill. Hill looks to prove to everyone he’s not just a gadget player.
With only Kareem Hunt and Charcandrick West on the roster at running back, Hill figures to get at least a few carries out of the backfield.
The most important aspect tonight for Hill is to take the top off of the Patriots. If he gets open down field, things will open up, especially in the run game. Also, the Pats may have to shift their plan away from Kelce, which also creates a problem.
Will Alex Smith Push The Ball Down The Field?
Chiefs fans talk about the limitations of Alex Smith on the daily. While he is better at throwing down field than people think, the Chiefs are a conservative offense. The emergence of Tyreek Hill definitely gives more confidence to this offense.
It now comes down to Alex Smith matching Tom Brady and company on every drive. The Chiefs defense will do their best to slow them down, but eventually the flood gate will open.
Alex Smith has weapons, plus a very good offensive line. It’s time to go out and shock the Patriots in Foxborough.
Jake Schyvinck is the managing editor for cover32 Chiefs. You can follow him on Twitter here.