For Pete's Sake

NFL writers, broadcasters offer thoughts on Chiefs ahead of playoff game

Andy Reid not holding anything back as Chiefs prepare for Colts

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid isn't looking back at past playoff losses against the Indianapolis Colts, and doesn't plan on holding anything back in his scheming for Saturday's January 12, 2019 playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium.
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Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid isn't looking back at past playoff losses against the Indianapolis Colts, and doesn't plan on holding anything back in his scheming for Saturday's January 12, 2019 playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium.

Snow. Patrick Mahomes. The curse. Andrew Luck. The defense.

There no shortage of talking points ahead of the Chiefs’ AFC divisional-playoff game Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium. That is why NFL observers from around the country have offered their thoughts about the game.

In the eyes of Chiefs fans, some will be seen as good. Others not so much.

Here is a sample of what people are saying about Chiefs:

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com ranked the eight quarterbacks in the divisional round by trustworthiness. Mahomes was No. 1.

Here is an excerpt of what he wrote: “Playoff experience is overrated for someone about to win an MVP in a season where he still doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”

Former Chiefs cornerback Shaun Smith expects the weather to be a factor:

Jerry Brewer of the Washington Post wrote a column with the headline, “Patrick Mahomes is a special player, but Chiefs need to be a special team to break through.”

Here is a bit of what he wrote: “Quite frankly, it would stink if Kansas City doesn’t hang around for multiple playoff games, at the very least. The Chiefs’ offense is something to behold. And Mahomes just out-Marino-ed the 1984 version of Dan Marino and set a new standard for quarterback proficiency at age 23. ...

“Nonetheless, the NFL playoffs can be a harsh experience for teams so dependent on a dynamic quarterback.”

Three USA Today writers believe the Chiefs are at the biggest risk of being upset this weekend.

Nancy Armour, Jarrett Bell and Mike Jones all had various reasons for believing this, and here is a excerpt of what Jones wrote: “Their offense just hasn’t been quite the same since losing Kareem Hunt, and their defensive shortcomings are well-documented. Meanwhile, they’re facing one of the most well-rounded – and underrated – teams in the postseason. The Colts of course have Andrew Luck, and his experience could give him an edge over counterpart Patrick Mahomes, but they can also run the ball effectively, and they have a very good defense.”

Bill Connelly of SB Nation used advanced stats to break down the AFC games. Here is a snippet of what he wrote about the Chiefs-Colts game: “Saturday’s game in Kansas City could be decided by which bend-don’t-break defense breaks the least.

“Indianapolis isn’t all that explosive, doing most of its damage with pass precision and solid red-zone offense, and Kansas City’s extremely flexible (to put it diplomatically) defense should be quite vulnerable to said efficiency. But the Chiefs will score enough to overcome that as long as they’re creating some gashes against the most gash-proof defense in the league and/or continuing their own red zone proficiency.”

Two “Good Morning Football” hosts on the NFL Network are certain one team will win. They just don’t agree:

NBC analyst Tony Dungy told The Star that the Chiefs need to disregard the franchise’s home losing streak.

“I know if I was there, I would be saying, ‘None of you guys were here, it doesn’t really impact you. You just have to go out and play.’ But it’s surely going to be brought up time and time again,” Dungy said.

“For most of the young guys, it fortunately won’t matter. But if you’re a coach, if you’ve been there a while, it does go through your mind. You’ve had these great teams, even (Andy Reid’s) team was in Indy and they were up (28) points and lose that game in the Luck comeback game. Even if you’re out there in the third quarter, rolling well and things are going fine, it’s almost, ‘Gosh what can possibly happen?’ So you do have to try and block that out and just play and say, ‘You know what? We’re at home. This is a great home-field advantage. We just have to do what we always do and we’re going to be fine.’”

I’ll just share this tweet without comment:

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From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.

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