The Patriots are facing an overlooked opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. The Chiefs have won eleven straight games and are coming off of a shutout win against the Houston Texans last weekend. The Chiefs started off the season very poorly and were given no chance to be put in this position. They’re now one of the final eight teams remaining with a chance to get to the AFC Championship Game this weekend. The Patriots are going to have their hands full in this game. This is not going to be a Tim Tebow game, a Houston Texans game, or an Andrew Luck game. This is going to be different.
The 2015 Kansas City Chiefs started off 1-5. They were not supposed to be a playoff team. They have a defense that went from poor to elite over the course of the season. They do not have any big name players who stand out in the NFL. They have a quarterback in Alex Smith who is considered to be a “game manager”. They have a good head coach in Andy Reid who has a system that the players believe in. This is a team.
Does this sound familiar? Think back about 15 years…
In 2001, the Patriots started off poorly. They were not expected to be a playoff team. Their defense was weak to start the season and ended up being the main reason they won the Super Bowl. They had no superstars. It was possibly the best example of an NFL team winning the championship as a team and not a group of individuals. Brady was a “game manager” that year. Bill Belichick led a system that the team believed in. No one gave that team a chance.
This is not to suggest that the Kansas City Chiefs will end up where the 2001 Patriots did. They have a lot of work to do. They have a very difficult test this weekend playing in a place where basically no one wins. The odds and the overall talent are working against them. However, the point here is that this is the type of team that many fans overlook just like they 2001 Patriots were overlooked. This Chiefs team has the framework and structure of a Super Bowl Champion.
The teams that win Super Bowls aren’t always the teams with the big names. They aren’t always the teams that have a quarterback who puts up the big stats. The teams that win are usually the teams that are playing the best as a team at the end of the season. They are the teams that play strong defense. They have a winning attitude. The Chiefs have all of this. They have what the 2001 Patriots had. They also are lacking the respect locally and nationally as they head into this game. We all know that many teams including the Patriots have benefitted from that.
A team that has won eleven straight games with an elite defense and a quarterback who does not turn the ball over is very dangerous. If you’re overlooking the Chiefs, just remember how the 2001 Patriots were overlooked. The fact that they were overlooked that year actually added more motivation for them to win.
Buckle up for this ride on Saturday. There are likely going to be bumps in the road.
Is this going to be the first stepping stone for the Pats repeating? Or is this going to potentially be a repeat of 2001?