Who can stop the Kansas City Chiefs?
When it comes to the Chiefs’ domination, all eyes usually look to the offense, led by star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, alongside his supporting cast of Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and new acquisition Le’Veon Bell.
But on Sunday, during the team’s 43-16 thrashing of Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos, it was the defense and special teams that stood out more. Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen returned an interception for a touchdown, and Byron Pringle had a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Despite the fact that the Broncos offense accrued 411 yards of total offense, Lock threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.
Mahomes, meanwhile, only threw for 200 yards and one touchdown for Kansas City in the frigid conditions in Mile High City.
Nevertheless, Kansas City still reigns supreme in the NFL, even though the Pittsburgh Steelers have the better overall record (6-0 compared to the Chiefs’ 5-1). Publications such as USA Today, The Sporting News, and The Washington Post have the Chiefs in the top three of their power rankings.
So…who is next on the radar for the Chiefs?
Before their week 10 bye, they play host to the winless New York Jets and then the Carolina Panthers. Following their bye week, they face off against the only team (thus far) that has beat them, the Las Vegas Raiders, followed by a marquee matchup against the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Based on how they’ve performed this season, the Buccaneers might be the toughest test yet for Mahomes and the Chiefs; even prior to the signing of WR Antonio Brown, the Buccaneers boasted one of the most explosive offenses and underrated defenses in the NFL.
Following their matchup with the Buccaneers, the Chiefs will face the Broncos and Dolphins before heading to New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the Saints. While New Orleans has not been as explosive as in the previous season, they still have a future Hall of Fame quarterback at the helm and remain a formidable threat in the NFC.
After the Saints, the Chiefs finish the 2020 regular season against the Falcons and Chargers.
The Buccaneers and Saints seem like the likeliest teams to pose a threat to the Chiefs. Not only are both quarterbacks (Brady and Brees) future Hall of Famers, but they’re also two of the smartest to ever play the game in terms of exploiting defensive holes. The Chiefs linebacker group struggles in pass coverage, and Brees excels in the short-pass game. While they have one of the best safeties in the NFL in Tyrann Mathieu, their coverage on the outside is still a cause for concern, and the Buccaneers have elite wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
No team is perfect. Not even the defending Super Bowl champions. But one thing is for certain: they’re still the team to beat in the NFL.
(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)