My level of optimism remained high heading into the week 10 match-up at home in Arrowhead Stadium against the Denver Broncos. Despite their embarrassing 31-3 the week previous at the hands of the Miami Dolphins, the Chiefs still found themselves atop the AFC West, needing a win against the now-Tim-Tebow-led Broncos and their collegiate style triple option never-pass offense. No win is easy in the NFL, but weeks nine and ten seemed to be as close as an easy win could come for the under-talented Chiefs team.
Instead, the Chiefs were blown-out at home for the second straight week. Losing 17-10, the score was not representative of the gameplay. The Broncos had already won the game by halftime, running the ball at will against a defense who knew every play before the ball was snapped, yet was physically out-matched. All optimism for the 2011 season has vanished from the mind of any Chiefs fan who views the game objectively… Without emotion… I will continue to cheer for the Chiefs in 2011, but I will not be let down following each loss…
On to the reasons the Patriots could beat the Chiefs…
With Matt Cassel undergoing surgery on his hand, possibly out for the season, Tyler Palko takes over at QB. To those of you who think Matt Cassel is a Super Star – Pro Bowl QB, you will now be given more ammo for your argument.
The ONLY benefit of Palko in the game over Cassel is Palko’s mobility. Palko will be able to escape pressure, however, he will be much more likely to scramble and run for a loss or one yard gain. If you thought Cassel had a tough time throwing down field in 2011, just wait until we see Palko try.
Realistically, Tyler Palko is a guy who could not beat out Brodie Croyle for the #2 slot in the QB depth chart in years past… Now he will be expected to lead the Chiefs during, arguably, the toughest five game stretch in all of the NFL in 2011.
Damon Amendolara – The DA Show, 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston (@theDAshow on Twitter): The Pats SHOULD beat the Chiefs because of Tyler Palko. The one obvious vulnerability on this Pats team is the secondary. Big Ben, Fitzpatrick and Eli carved them up. But it’s hard for me to imagine that Palko steps in and does the same. The Pats offense can move the football against almost anyone – but you have to be able to put up points. As good as D-Bowe is, I can’t imagine Palko could take advantage like he should. If this was on the road, I might give the Chiefs a better shot, but I think the Pats win by 2 TDs.
Brandon Prewitt – Editor, Chiefs Command: It’s no secret that the Patriots passing defense is a joke, however I don’t trust that Tyler Palko will be able to take advantage of this flaw. The play calling will be conservative since it will be Palko’s first start, meaning the Chiefs will try to develop the run game first to limit Palko from making too many mistakes. This isn’t good for the Chiefs since the Pats have bee good at stopping the run all season. By the time the play calling will allow Palko to open up and start passing the Pats D will know it’s coming.
If you haven’t noticed yet, an NFL team needs one of two things to win a Chapionship: a top-notch quarterback OR an elite defense. Also, if you haven’t noticed, Tom Brady in an elite QB. Take notes – Brady goes through progressions in the pass play, reads the defense pre-snap and makes plays. Matt Cassel doesn’t do any of these things… I bet Tyler Palko doesn’t either.
Brandon Prewitt: Elbow injury or not Tom Brady is still damn good. Granted he has thrown a few more INTs this season than normal, but he is still an elite QB that can easily shred through the porous Chiefs secondary. The KC front seven has failed miserably all season at getting to the QB, the Pats O-Line will allow plenty of time for Brady to work his magic.
Although the Chiefs have fared pretty well against opponent tight ends, they haven’t faced a duo like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. I’m not sure the Chiefs can match up defensively with two stud TEs.
Brandon Prewitt: The Patriots have the best TE attack in the NFL. Most teams would like to have an elite TE, the Pats have two. Even if the Chiefs can stop one of them the other will thrive. Having two of the top ten TEs in the league make the Pats passing attack incredible deadly.
It is hard for me to believe the Chiefs have multiple prime time games in 2011, especially since everyone around knew in the pre-season the Chiefs would not duplicate their 2010 performance.
Mike Lockhart – Cattles and Lockhart, 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston (@mikelock87 on Twitter): The Belichick and Brady era has been full of prime time games. They always show up for them. The offense will out score you. The defense will pressure the passer. I fully expect a 31-7 type of game. If this were Sunday at 1, I’d think it would be a close one. After a big win in New York Sunday night. But on the big stage Monday night at home, Brady and all his weapons will be on fire.
I understand this one is a no-brainer, but it still needs to be mentioned. Other than the defensive secondary and a few linebackers, the New England Patriots are better at every other position across the board.
My Chiefs @ Patriots Prediction
With the spread currently at Patriots -14 1/2, I don’t think the Chiefs cover. They have done nothing to instill confidence, and now the offense will be guided by a no-name backup QB
Kansas City Chiefs 10 – New England Patriots 45
What are your thoughts on the game? Let us know in the comments section below!