Match-Up: #5 Chiefs @ #2 Patriots

Spread: Patriots (-5.0)

When: Saturday, January 16th, 4:35 PM

Where to Watch: CBS

Chiefs Storyline

Who could have predicted this? After a 1-5 start, the Chiefs are looking for their 12th straight win. Eric Berry kicked cancer’s ass and now he’s playing out of his mind. Alex Smith looks like he’s evolved. The Chiefs defense is elite, and the offense hasn’t missed a beat without Jamaal Charles. And even better, Jeremy Maclin’s injury is somewhat minor and he might end up playing. Now they’ll face their toughest test of the season, a New England team that they DOMINATED the last time that they played in 2014.

Chiefs X-Factor

Derrick Johnson (ILB) – Julian Edelman is just returning from an injury, which means he might still be rusty. Assuming Rob Gronkowski plays, he’ll be the key factor for the Patriots offense. Derrick Johnson will have to play the game of his life, seeing as he’ll likely be responsible for Gronk often in this game. If the Chiefs find a way to contain the caveman that is Gronk, they have a chance.

Patriots Storyline

It was the same old season for the Patriots, as they won 12 games. Tom Brady played well, the defense was solid. It’s old news. The only real news here is the return of Julian Edelman. We’ll see if he can get them out of this little slump they’re in (2 game losing streak).

Patriots X-Factor

Jabaal Sheard (DT) – Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich should do their thing this game, but it’s up to Sheard to clog the middle against a relatively talented Chiefs interior line. If he can command double teams, he’ll leave the Chiefs tackles in one-on-one situations against the Patriots DEs. That could lead to some serious pressure in the face of Alex Smith.

Final Score Prediction

I know everyone is drinking the Chiefs Kool-aid, and why not? The Chiefs are on fire; they might be the hottest team in all of sports right now. But this is a new animal they’re facing. The Patriots are just too comfortable in the Playoffs. Barring a strange collapse by them, similar to that 2010 loss to Baltimore, the Patriots should handle their business and head to yet another AFC Championship game.

Patriots Win 24-20

Photo Credit: http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/09/26/new-england-patriots-vs-kansas-city-chiefs-top-5-matchups-to-watch/

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