Sun, 24 Jan 2021

Who can stop the Chiefs making it two in a row?

13 Jan 2021, 02:51 GMT+10

While there's no such thing as a certainty in sport, it does seem like the outcomes of certain games may not be open for debate. Many commentators and experts are predicting that we may be headed for just such a result on Sunday February 7th when Super Bowl LV is set to take place in the Raymond James Stadium in Florida.

The team in question is the Kansas City Chiefs and their current and past form certainly makes it look like they are an unstoppable force who, collectively, are the very top of their game.

At the heart of this is the not so secret weapon of Patrick Mahomes. Arguably, the very best quarterback of all time, he's certainly leading the way in today's NFL. He's more than ably supported by the rest of the team who show few, if any, chinks in the armor of their offensive and defensive line-ups.

This season they've only been beaten twice and have carried through an unblemished away record. They also have the memory of Super Bowl LIV in which they showed their true mettle by coming back from behind with a devastating fourth quarter performance to defeat the 49ers 31-20.

It all adds up to the fact that the Super Bowl betting odds have the Chiefs as the firm favorites to keep hold of the Vince Lombardi trophy for another year. But, while they may be the sportsbook's choice, there are at least four other teams that might just stop them in their tracks.

Cleveland Browns

Let's start with the Cleveland Browns. After all, they're the first team that the Chiefs are going to have to take on in the play-offs having received a bye in the first round, along with the Green Bay Packers.

The Browns have consistently shown that they have a rushing attack that is highly efficient. This is largely thanks to the efforts of running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt who average just short of 5 yards for each rush attack. This has put the Browns' offense at number three for drives by time in possession.

Wyatt Teller is also a major contributor and has even been named as the leading run-blocking linesman. With the Chief's linebackers being perhaps their weakest link, by applying a little pressure here, the cracks in the Chiefs could start to appear. By also keeping the ball well away from Mahomes, the results could be quite dramatic.

Green Bay Packers

How the Packers would love to head back to Wisconsin with the trophy that carries their old coach's name. On league performance alone and with a 13-3 record behind them, they stand a reasonable chance on paper.

Coach Matt LeFleur has established an offensive system that is as good as most in the leagues and one player in particular who has thrived under it is Aaron Rodgers. The result has been a series of 30-plus scores.

They've also prevailed this season despite being hit with a number of injuries including one which saw star running back Aaron Jones side-lined for far longer than LeFleur would have liked.

But now he's back in action again, there's a good chance that the team will also be back to its battling best. And, If the veteran 37 year old Aaron Rodgers has anything to do with it, he'll be determined to make this a late-career high to look back on fondly in his retirement.

Baltimore Ravens

While this season's 11-5 record is nowhere near as good as last season's 14-2, they have shown considerable promise all the same.

The team's real powerhouse continues to be 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson and the 23 year old is obviously hungry for success. However there have been early warning signs that the Chiefs may well have the measure of the team. Back in Week 3 of the season they were easily overcome by the Kansas team at home.

They've also shown how just one highly effective player for the opposition can undo them completely. In last year's play-off the 6ft 5' Derrick Henry ran through the team like a hot knife through butter with stats that were very impressive at 195 yards and a throw for a touchdown. So the final result of 28-12 seemed like an inevitability that saw the Ravens being sent packing.

But if they can be aware of the danger of something like this happening again, they can be prepared and could well be able to neutralize the Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills

Of all the possibilities, this is the final that many people would want to see, and which could provide the very best entertainment for the 100 million plus viewers expected to tune in on February 7th.

Quarterback Josh Allen forms the backbone of the team and managed to end the season with the league's fourth best completion percentage and passer rating. He was also fifth in passing yards, touchdowns and yards per attempt.

Working with wide receiver Stefon Diggs, it makes for a winning combination that seems to work on an almost telepathic level of communication between the pair. But it's Allen's mobility that could be instrumental and could allow him to carve up the Chiefs' defense.

It's all to play for

So the foregone conclusion of a Kansas victory may be a little misplaced as, on their day, any of these teams could provide and upset. We'll just have to wait and see if they do.

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