We had questions about the Chiefs, most of them fearful, and decided to turn to Arrowhead Pride for answers. Tom Childs at AP was kind enough to answer our questions without laughing at our puny team (I assume, I couldn’t see him), and you’ll learn a little something about this week’s opponent before they either crush our beloved Falcons or lose in bewildering and embarrassing fashion. Hey, it...could happen?
Dave Choate: I know there’s no good answer for this question, but if the Falcons decided on a lark that they wanted to stop Patrick Mahomes from throwing for 300 yards, 3 touchdowns, or both, how might they actually go about doing that?
Tom Childs: I’m kind of used to being asked this question nowadays to be honest. Everyone wants to know the answer to the million-dollar question. Whilst I don’t the know THE ANSWER, I can tell you what others have tried. That would be get pressure with 3 or 4 guys and light boxes, that’s the only way to slow down (not stop) Patrick Mahomes - the issue is that it doesn’t really stop the Chiefs from scoring. On several occasions this year the Chiefs have simply taken what the opposing defense has given them - it’s like they’re playing a much smarter brand of football than previous years and is most likely the reason for the drop in turnovers.
Dave Choate: The Falcons run defense has been backsliding a bit after a mostly strong season, allowing big runs the past few weeks. Will the Chiefs be able to take advantage of that—not that I’m suggesting they’ll need to—or will CEH chiefly be dangerous as a receiver in this one?
Tom Childs: Clyde won’t be good to go this week, so it will be down to Bell to be the ‘bell-cow’ (no pun intended) this weekend. If the Falcons choose to adopt the drop 7 guys into coverage approach, and if the run defense is as bad as you say it is, then it could be a very long afternoon for the Falcons. Bell has looked better with every passing week since arriving in KC. Carrying the workload shouldn’t be an issue.
Dave Choate: The defense seems solid from the outside. What are some weaknesses the Falcons might be able to attack, and what do they need to watch out for, especially given that this offense basically can’t run the ball at all?
Tom Childs: The Raiders had the most success by pushing the ball down the field, as did the Panthers. But that wasn’t the reason for their relative success. The reason for their success was their mindset. Their coaching was aggressive when it needed to be. Fourth downs; goal to go situations; not punting - they were not scared to make the big decisions. The sooner teams realise that they need to give everything to stand a chance to beat KC, then it’s more likely it is to happen. Even if it means stepping away from the norm.
Dave Choate: Atlanta’s become very good at climbing out to leads they can’t hold on to. Are the Chiefs more of a first half or second half team, in case it comes down to that?
Tom Childs: The Chiefs are a quarter team, you just never know which one? The scary thing about this Chiefs team is that they rarely put together a full game, but unlike with the Falcons it really doesn’t matter. The Chiefs ability to score quickly will be giving all Falcons fans nightmares, no matter how large a lead Atlanta manages to build. I’ve been wondering this week how many points could the Chiefs spot the Falcons? 21, 28 maybe?
Dave Choate: Obviously the sky’s the limit for this Chiefs team, but are you expecting another Super Bowl win? How do you expect this game to go?
Tom Childs: Pardon my arrogance but yes, I am expecting another Super Bowl win this year. Whilst there are obviously some really good teams out there, the Chiefs are by far and away the best. If the Chiefs don’t win the Super Bowl it will be because of an error they make, not what their opposition has done.
In regards to Sunday, I am hoping the Chiefs put together a complete-ish performance to wrap up the number-one seed mathematically. I expect to see a heavy dose of Travis Kelce as he looks to break all manner of receiving records, which in turn will help Patrick Mahomes’ MVP push in what will be his last outing of the 2020 regular season. Chiefs 41 Falcons 17
Thanks again to Tom and Arrowhead Pride, and we’ll see how tomorrow goes.