Chiefs vs. Patriots: Manifest Destiny in Foxboro

Posted: November 18, 2011 by ndbohlen in NFL, Patriots, Prediction
Tags: , , , , ,

Mike: Do you think Brady wears his UGGs when he has victory sex with Gisele? I think that’s where Sanchez got the idea to wear a sombrero while having “Oh, I lost the AFC Championship AGAIN” sex with 17-year-old girls.

Nick: That’s how I picture it. Wait, is that weird?

Mike: Um, yes.

But Brady’s going to have to slip on some cleats for this Sunday, because here come to middling Kansas City Chiefs. The Pats embark on a downhill attack into December with statistically the easiest schedule in the NFL. Together, Patriots opponents have a winning percentage of .381 through ten weeks. That kind of record usually bodes well for a team looking to make the playoffs. It usually bodes well for a team in the playoffs as well, but for counter examples, I refer you to the 2010 Seattle Seahawks, division champions of the WTF West.

This Kansas City team has been a mixed bag this year, though. They split their series with the Chargers, but we can probably chalk that one up as Philip Rivers’ great choking fiascoes. The Miami Dolphins held them to a field goal for their first win of the year. Kansas City blanked the Raiders, took down Minnesota and Indianapolis, and endured a mushroom stamping session from Buffalo and Detroit… the earlier version of those teams… you know the one, the version that won games.

Nick: The Chiefs….how do I put this lightly…suck. No matter how you look at it.

They got annihilated by a total score of 89-10 in their first two games. (Whatever happened to those Bills and Lions teams? You could say Pickspatrick can’t throw down field and the Lions can’t run the ball, but I think the teams suffer from severe depression from living in Buffalo and Detroit.) KC had to score 17 straight to beat the Colts by four. They barely squeaked by the now 2-7 Vikings – and that was with the quarterback-formerly-known-as-Donovan McNabb under center.

For their “quality” wins, sure, they killed Oakland 28-0 – behind six (SIX!!!) combined interceptions from Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer, including two returned for touchdowns. The Chargers couldn’t keep from tripping over themselves in their frantic effort to lose another game on their own demerits.

Then the Chiefs were inexplicably blown out of the water by a previously winless Dolphins team that hadn’t given their home crowd a final score to cheer for in almost a year. After that, they couldn’t figure out how to stop a team that ran the ball for 55 of their 63 plays.

In sum, I’m pretty sure Brady can just start the game wearing his victory sex outfit so he’s ready to go the moment the final horn sounds.

Mike: Win or lose, those games were played under the auspices of QB Matt Cassel. Now, the Chiefs look to Tyler Palko (an anagram of the world “Polka,” which I assume is Tyler’s usual profession when not warming seats on the Kansas City bench). Palko played well enough last week that he doesn’t deserve our scorn or mockery just yet (except for his name’s anagram).

Nick: Speak for yourself. I couldn’t be less afraid of Tyler Palko if he were a Teletubby lining up under center.

Mike: Palko did complete 5 of 6 pass attempts against Denver, though, which means he completed more passes than the winning QB of that game. By all measures, that ain’t terrible. And if he can translate that confidence and success from the Denver game into his road match-up against the Pats’ secondary, he might be able to put together a competitive game.

Then again, he might also look to the sidelines, wonder where all the cheerleaders are, find that the field is actually surrounded by men in colonial garb armed with muskets, and crap himself.

Nick: Let’s look at Palko’s pedigree. He went undrafted in 2007 before being signed to the Saints practice squad. In 2008, he didn’t play football. He was signed by the Cardinals for the ’09 season, only to be released in September of that year. He went on to play some Canadian Football, dick around on a couple of other practice squads, and now he’s finally about to start his first ever game in the NFL. He’s thrown all of…13 passes in professional football. (Well, real professional football – if you expect me to even consider looking up his CFL stats, you should get a CAT scan or something.)

In other words, just like you suggested, I think Palko craps himself when he sees those bayonets glinting in the sun. Wait, New England doesn’t see the sun during the month of November. Scrap that part. Palko still polka-dots his pants with poop, though.

Mike: In terms of sheer desperation, Kansas City is only one game behind in the AFC West and will need to win this one, because their schedule will put them through hell and back by the time December is through. After New England, the Chiefs play Pittsburgh, Chicago, the New York Jets, Green Bay, and their division leaders, the Raiders. And after the Chiefs try to avoid the potential five- or six-game losing streak, they close the season in Denver.

But will their need to win override their inability to stop the aerial onslaught? The Chiefs are ranked 16th in pass defense, and one of those games was last week’s the 69-yard wonder by Tebow. If you ignore that game, the Chiefs have allowed over 2,000 passing yards in just nine games. Their one saving grace: 13 interceptions – tied for fourth most in the league. Palko might be dancing the polka if the Chiefs defense can provide a short-field or two for him.

So, does Brady go with the same game plan as last week or does Ochocinco make his mark with some deep bombs? The Chiefs’ defense can be overcome, easily, the question is how.

Nick: Basically, I think Brady is going to have his way with the Chiefs defense (another reason to play in his victory sex get-up), and Palko doesn’t have a prayer of keeping up. Brady is going to do what he always does – pass and pass and pass, somewhat spread the ball around, but mostly feed Rob Gronkowski (as if that mountain of a man needs feeding) and Wes Welker (different story) to move the ball and put up 30+ points. If the Bills and Lions can light up the scoreboard for over 40, and if Brady can complete 13 straight passes against the Jets pass defense, then last year’s unanimous league MVP should be able to put up some gaudy numbers. Numbers that might for once include Ochocinco. But probably not.

That said, the Chiefs have a small and porous defensive line, so I think the Patriots will sprinkle in a few more running plays than usual. Especially if the passing game is effective and they march down the field on the first couple of possessions and put a quick 14 points on the scoreboard. I have no idea who the Pats will use as their primary ball carrier, though, because it seems to be totally random whether it’s the Law Firm, Danny Woodhead, Kevin Faulk, or Stevan Ridley. But it probably won’t matter.

Mike: So at the very worst, this game will be another one of the Patriots’ wins no thanks to anybody but Brady. Clearly, Brady will be able to make up for any hiccups on defense that might allow Palko to complete some passes and score on a few drives.

Nick: Well, not just Brady, but Gronk and Welker, too. But yeah, those three guys will probably put up ridiculous stats and almost singlehandedly (triplehandedly?) punish the Chiefs for their slightly insensitive nickname.

After last week, what should I make of the Patriots defense? Can I please believe they’re for real? Or should I trust my gut (which harbors the dark, depressing reality of my expectations for Boston sports), which says they’re going to look good exclusively against offenses that control the ball as well as Palko controls his own bowel movements?

Mike: I can see you’ve grown wise since starting this blog. The Patriots’ defense still isn’t good. Mark Sanchez wasn’t fooled or outplayed… at least not by any amount that should give you hope. I think there are still plenty of reasons to doubt the Patriots’ defense. Not any that would preclude a win in Foxboro this weekend, but plenty that ought to raise eyebrows as the Pats eye another trip to the playoffs. But since the Chiefs don’t have nearly the offensive talent required to exploit those defensive holes, we don’t need to go into them in this preview.

Nick: I agree that the Pats defense is nothing that excites me moving forward, but I don’t think you can pull this “The New York Jets beat the New York Jets” crap, like when the Chargers’ Randy McMichael said the same thing when San Diego lost to your Jets.

But I can already sense my anger brewing into a blind rage as you dangle and flash this red cape before my eyes. Let’s step outside into the alley and deal with this in a future post before our preview gets too ugly.

Mike: How surprisingly mature of you, Nick. Your mom would be so proud.

Getting back to our task at hand, it seems that you’ve pretty much closed the book on this game. Since the NBA is locked out, this might be the closest thing to a slam dunk you might see all year in Boston.

Nick: For a completely neurotic Boston sports fan who always expects the worst and goes into a tailspin of depression and excessive drinking with every incompletion, I’m about as confident as I can be about prematurely chalking this game up in the win column.

Mike: I still want to see what the Chiefs could do, assuming they suddenly aspire to football greatness, to beat the Patriots. KC ranks dead last in sacks, which likely means they’ll struggle to put serious pressure on Brady. Without pressure, I don’t see a repeat of the Oakland six-interception extravaganza happening in this one. I also don’t know if the Chiefs have a defense that is ready to even slow down the New England tight end scheme.

Do you see anything that might open a door for KC to steal a game from the Pats in Foxboro?

Nick: To be fair to the Chiefs, hardly anyone can stop the Pats double tight end set. But you’re right, if Brady has all day to bounce on his toes in the pocket and wait for his receivers to break free (which they always will, given enough time), he’ll have a field day picking apart the Chiefs like they picked apart General Custer (it can’t still be too soon, can it?).

So no, I don’t really see any way the Chiefs steal a win. But it is the NFL, and crazier things have happened. The Patriots could be a little complacent coming off a big win over the Jets, plus they could be taking KC less than seriously with Cassel essentially being replaced with a homeless guy plucked out of the gutter. The Pats defense could return to the form that allows completions and touchdowns as indiscriminately as a dog sniffs asses.   The corps of RBs could put the ball on the ground or Brady could throw a pick or two, giving the Chiefs such a short field that even Palko can’t screw it up.

Brady could also be struck by lightning, the Chiefs might sign the Incredible Hulk off the practice squad to rip Brady’s helmet and head off Matt Stafford-style, Belichick could forget to cut his sweatshirt sleeves (leaving his hands unable to access his play sheet or the challenge flag stowed away in his sock), or Tyler Palko could turn out to be the second-coming of Jesus.

Mike: I’m going to give Palko the benefit of the doubt. I think he’ll be able to get some things done against the Patriots defense. In a brief interview with ESPN, he noted that he has enough “chips stacked against him” to begin with. But I think he might have something to prove. The man was dropped from the roster of a UFL team (I don’t know what the UFL is either). He has something to prove, and I think he might be able to put together an impressive performance.

But he’ll need that lightning strike to overcome the Brady Bunch.

Pats win. Patriots 31, Chiefs 17.

Nick: I can’t really imagine why you would expect an impressive performance from Palko, but regardless, the Patriots should blow through the Chiefs with as much ease as Lindsay Lohan goes through an eightball of cocaine.

Patriots go to 7-3. Final score: Patriots 34, Chiefs 16

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