Kansas City Chiefs Open Thread: Week 1 vs the Patriots

Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs kick off the NFL season tonight as they take on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Follow along in our open thread.

Tonight kicks off the 2017 NFL regular season as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots. This is a season with some high expectations for the Chiefs, and they get a chance to prove themselves early on. The Patriots are Super Bowl favorites again, so Kansas City will have to really step up to win this one.

Over the past couple of seasons, the Chiefs have shown that they can hang with the best teams in the league. That includes the infamous “On to Cincinnati” game of 2014 and a competitive playoff game in January 2016, both against the Patriots. There is no reason why Kansas City should feel intimidated coming into this one.

A lot is being made of the New England offense this year, but that shouldn’t be anything new for the Chiefs. KC faced several top offenses in 2016, including the Falcons and Raiders. We know they can keep those kinds of units in check.

New England Should Be Favored

None of that is to say that the Patriots shouldn’t be the favorite tonight. New England has definitely earned that kind of respect, especially in the past few years. This is a very strong organization, and its led by a coach and quarterback who can each be described as the best at what they do.

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However, the Kansas City Chiefs are also a very good team, especially on defense. The Chiefs defense over the past several years has been one of the most dangerous in the NFL. They have consistently been a unit that thrives on making big plays. If the KC defense can do that tonight, this game will shock a lot of people.

Comes Down To Big Plays

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If you want to beat the New England Patriots, you need to be able to dial up big plays on both sides of the ball. For the Kansas City Chiefs, that will place the pressure squarely on the shoulders of quarterback Alex Smith. That might not be a comforting thought for much of Chiefs Kingdom, but Smith has stepped up before.

There will also be plenty of pressure on rookie running back Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs third-round pick will be carrying the load in the running game. Meanwhile, star tight end Travis Kelce figures to be the focus of the passing offense. Both players need to have a good game.

On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs will need Justin Houston and the pass rush to step up. You don’t stop the Patriots offense without getting pressure from a four-man rush. That means Houston needs to get to Tom Brady early and often.

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Staff Predictions

*Be sure to leave your predictions in the comments section!

Most of the country is picking the Patriots tonight, as expected. Here’s what we’ve got coming in from our staff at KC Kingdom:

Ben Almquist: Chiefs 27 – Patriots 23

Give me the upset! The Chiefs are underdogs tonight, but I think it’s the last time we see that all season. Kansas City is going to be a top team in 2017, and it starts tonight!

Leigh Oleszczak: Chiefs 17 – Patriots 28

Chiefs will keep it close throughout most of the game, but the Patriots put it away in the fourth quarter.

Jake Barbee: Chiefs 20 – Patriots 34

Chiefs put up a fight till half time, but Brady and Cooks get going for a better second half for NE. Good building test and starting point for KC though.

Joel Wagler: Chiefs 13 – Patriots 27

New England just too tough at home and the Chiefs offense will struggle to get on track as they search for production at wide receiver.

Garrett Coleman: Chiefs 17 – Patriots 27

While I think the chiefs are going to have a solid season, I don’t think it’s going to start off great. Taking off the yellow and red tinted glasses I find it hard believing the Chiefs are going to go up to Foxborough and beat the Patriots on their home opener. Good guys lose this one the the Patriots

The Kansas City Chiefs have some high hopes for the 2017 season, and rightfully so. However, if they want to get the respect of the national media, then it has to start with beating the team everyone says is the best. The Chiefs have Super Bowl aspirations, but the Patriots have Super Bowl expectations. It’s time to flip that around.