NFL Championship Preview: Saints’ rushing ace and Chiefs’ mixed threat
Dave Burin | 17 January 2019
Odds and talking points on AFC and NFC clashes
We’re down to the final four in the race to the Super Bowl, and offence truly is king right now.
The four highest-scoring sides in the NFL regular season all head into the NFC and AFC Championship games. But will it be the regular heavyweights or the new upstarts who triumph this weekend?
Are Chiefs’ offensive options too much to handle?
While they once again topped the AFC East, it’s fair to say New England Patriots are no longer the force of years gone by. One of the main issues is how leaky their defence is on the road, which could prove fatal as they visit Kansas City Chiefs.
The Pats shipped 40 points against the Chiefs in an all-action clash at Gillette Stadium In October. But they’ve been almost as leaky against much poorer opposition away from Foxboro – including a 34-33 defeat in Miami.
One of the major issues they have here is that Kansas have such strength throughout their offence. Damien Williams has been a superb stand-in as Running Back in Kareem Hunt’s absence.
Meanwhile, Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has thrown over 5,000 yards in an astonishing season. With so many ways to hurt New England, they could quickly rack up the points.
Strong start and terrific Thomas are Saints’ must-haves
New Orleans Saints rode their luck at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in their play-off clash with Philadelphia Eagles. The Saints offered minimal resistance in the first quarter, tumbling to a 14-0 defecit – before eventually grabbing a 20-14 win.
In the end, the hosts arguably deserved the victory. But against more ruthless opposition like Los Angeles Rams, a similarly sloppy start could see the game out of sight before half-time.
That said, if Sean Payton’s offence hit the heights for the head coach, then it’s hard to see past the Louisiana side. Especially with Michael Thomas in their ranks.
The Wide Receiver hit the 10 Touchdown mark against Philadelphia, and has been astonishingly consistent this term. And he’s likely to cause plenty of problems for a Rams side who gave up 384 points in the regular season (or 24 per game).
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