The Kansas City Chiefs are without a doubt the coldest team heading into the 2013 NFL Playoffs, but if they can get past the Indianapolis Colts this Saturday, they could face the New England Patriots in the divisional round. It is a potential matchup that would be very similar to New England’s divisional round last year when they hosted the Houston Texans.
Both the Texans in 2012 and Chiefs in 2013 feature a dual-threat running back as their offense’s best weapon, similar quarterbacks in Matt Schaub and Alex Smith and defenses that are among the best in the league. And what happened when the Patriots hosted the Texans last year? They bested the AFC South champion 41-28 in a game that was really never as worrisome as the score might suggest. A similar result would happen against the Chiefs this year.
There are a number of reasons to suggest such a prediction. Like Christian Ponder (or anyone who is behind center for the Minnesota Vikings) and Adrian Peterson, Alex Smith is one of the rare quarterbacks in the NFL who is not his offense’s most important player. Smith is not a good enough passer (221 yards per game, 24th in the NFL) to ignite a playoff win in Foxborough and a running back, even with the playmaking ability of All-Pro Jamaal Charles, is not enough to shoulder Andy Reid‘s squad.
More damning is that the once-fabled Chiefs defense hit a road block at midseason. Sure, the injury to linebacker Justin Houston played a factor in the unit’s decline, but since losing their first of five games (all to playoff teams), the Chiefs have allowed the opposition an average of 27.7 points per game. Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense will almost definitely put up more than that, even with the Rob Gronkowski in sweats.