Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Atlanta Falcons

Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs
Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants
Matt Cassel is an accurate passer, has excellent intangibles and is respected in the lockerroom. However, he takes a lot of abuse and he missed the final seven games with a broken hand last year. Brady Quinn appears to be a competent backup.
Winner Matt Ryan has established himself as a quarterback who can move around the pocket well, throw the ball accurately and help lead his team to important regular-season victories. However, he has yet to win a game in the postseason and there will be questions about him until he can accomplish that feat.
Winner The Chiefs appears to have a productive running game with explosive Jamaal Charles and versatile Peyton Hillis. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is a big-play performer who is capable of making the spectacular catch when the game is on the line.
Winner The Falcons like to have a somewhat balanced offense with Michael Turner providing the bulk of the carries in the running game. However, the offensive line did not block as well for him last year as it had in the past. Roddy White and Julio Jones are big-play receivers who enhance Ryan’s talent.
Winner The Chiefs will run head coach Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense and there appears to be a good chance that Kansas City has the dominant linebackers to execute it well. Outside linebacker Tamba Hali has become one of the AFC’s best pass rushers while Derrick Johnson is a sure tackler who wears out opposing offenses with his hard hitting.
The Falcons turn the defense over to Mike Nolan this year and even though he prefers the 3-4 set-up, the Falcons will stick with a 4-3 defense. The Falcons have been solid against the run, but Nolan’s goal will be to improve the pass rush and the pass coverage. John Abraham still posts big sack numbers but he is an in-and-out performer at this point. Speedy Kroy Bierman can also rush the passer.
Special Teams
Winner Matt Bryant doesn’t have the strongest leg in the NFL, but if you give him a field goal of 40 yards or less he’s not going to miss. Matt Bosher is an accurate punter who can also kick off for the Falcons.
Special teams could be a big advantage for the Chiefs throughout the season. Ryan Succop rarely misses any field goal when the game is on the line and punter Dustin Colquitt knows how to pin opponents in deep. Returners Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas both have game-breaking speed.

The Winner Is

Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs
Winner Chiefs
3 out of 4

The Chiefs may be one of the surprise teams in the league. While they don’t appear to be overwhelmingly strong, they don’t have any severe weaknesses. Look for Romeo Crennel to get off to a good start at home.


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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