Brendan’s Bits: No Time Like This Time For The Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are the best-prepared team to take down the machine that is the New England Patriots.

You can argue about this statement all you want. On one hand, when you have the (currently) best quarterback in the league and an offense stockpiled with weapons, you can accomplish almost anything. On the other hand, the Patriots have already beaten the Chiefs once this year.

There’s not definitive way to say who has a distinct advantage in this game until after the fact, but one piece of recent statistical history is on Kansas City’s side this weekend.

Andy Reid is the best offensive mind in football. You can argue for Sean McVay, and the young, astoundingly influential coach of the Los Angeles Rams may have a claim to that title some day. But for now, Reid stands above the rest.

The fact that the Patriots have only allowed more than 40 points seven times in 19 seasons is mind-blowing, especially in the most scoring-friendly era in the sport’s history. For the Reid Chiefs to have done it three times in the past five seasons is absurd.

There’s no time like the present for the Chiefs to finally break through the glass ceiling that has seemed to trap them into the “good, not great” echelon of NFL teams for the better part of the last 50 years. The offense is there, the defense is playing well enough and the Patriots look beatable.

If nothing else, the Chiefs should be able to put up plenty of points.

When all else is equal, better talent generally wins out in sports. Of course, not everything is equal (for example, Reid is one of the best coaches in history, while Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in history), but it’s undeniable that the Chiefs have more desirable weapons at this point. Your quarterback is the likely MVP of the league (even has one of those awards already) and is being fast-tracked to “face of the league” status. The best active tight end, for the first time in a long time, isn’t wearing a Patriots jersey, rather a Chiefs jersey. Nobody has the speed to keep up with Tyreek Hill. It’s hard to find a better No. 2 receiver than Sammy Watkins. And the offensive line isn’t half bad, either.

As for the defense, while it’s been embarrassingly porous at times this year, it’s played well at Arrowhead Stadium. Including the win over Indianapolis in last weekend’s divisional round, Kansas City is only allowing 17.4 points per game at home. The Chiefs’ pass rush tied for the league lead in sacks this season with 52, and the trio of Chris Jones, Dee Ford and Justin Houston have been as good as anyone at getting after the quarterback this year.

And, again, Andy Reid has proven that he’s one of the best coaches in the NFL. He’s been dogged for not being able to win the big one for most of his career. This is his chance to finally do it.

Of course, the opponents will have something to say about this. Despite Tom Brady’s bizarre posturing that the world somehow doubts that a two decade-long dynasty, there’s a reason the Patriots have been the game’s gold standard for so long. Belichick’s resume is as close to infallible as it gets. Even with scandals, incessant hounding media coverage and rumors about player futures endlessly swirling around them, the Patriots just keep winning.

Their product on the field is pretty good, too. To reiterate, only giving up 40 points seven times in 19 seasons is ridiculous. Their defense, while not as good as it once was, is still decent enough to win. The New England offensive line could be the biggest hurdle Kansas City needs to overcome this weekend. The Patriots have the best adjusted sack rate in the NFL this season, per Football Outsiders. They do a great job of protecting Brady, which sets up for a meeting of an unstoppable force and an unmovable object on Sunday.

It’s time for the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, the future is bright regardless of what happens in the AFC Championship Game. Yes, as long as Mahomes is around this franchise will contend. Yes, there’s little shame in losing to a dynasty. But the opportunity is here, it’s now. It’s not worth spending all your time thinking about what could come later when you have a chance right now to make history. You have a coach who has figured out to score on the New England defense, a quarterback who put up big numbers against the New England defense and a fan base that is ravenous for success who will undoubtedly act the same way at Arrowhead Stadium this weekend.

All that’s left to do is actually win the game.