Heading into the 2020-2021 NFL season, the Chiefs were one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. SuperBowl oddsmakers continue to find strength in the Kansas City Chiefs performance heading into NFL week 4. But, could they be on track to win back to back Super Bowl titles?
Heading into week 4, DraftKings places the Chiefs Super Bowl odds at +400, eeking out the Ravens for the top spot.
Kansas City Chiefs: 3-0 Through Week 3
We knew the Chiefs have an electric offense and that Patrick Mahomes was prepared to take over the NFL. We did not know, however, that they were capable of annihilating the Super Bowl favorites. Lamar Jackson is the reigning NFL MVP and their roster was expected to match up perfectly with Kansas City.
A motivated Chiefs team dominated the Ravens thoroughly on both sides of the ball during the NFL week 3 matchup. Their defense is able to make stops both against the run and the pass. Daring Lamar Jackson to throw is something all teams will continue to do. Until Lamar is able to adjust, they will not be able to compete with the Chiefs star-studded roster.
The Chiefs are all that and then some, but there are still ways to beat a pass first offense.
Public Service Announcement: Do NOT Blitz
The first way to beat a pass first offense is based on hurrying the passer.
Think back to the 2008 Giants in Super Bowl 42. The Patriots were 18-0 and steamrolled the entire league. The Giants were able to rush the passer with a 4 man rush and upset the Patriots in Super Bowl 42, despite having an inferior team.
Last year, Patrick Mahomes admitted that he was getting by on pure talent.
Mahomes explained, “I really didn’t understand how to read defenses until this year. I understood how to read coverages but not tendencies like Brady… I was just playing.”
This reality is a harsh one for NFL teams. The Baltimore Ravens blitzed on 21 passes from Patrick Mahomes on Monday. Of those 21 passes, 17 of them were completed for 219 yards and 3 touchdowns.
According to NFL.com Next Gen Stats, Patrick Mahomes has a 116.5 passer rating against 5 rushers or more. Furthermore, Patrick Mahomes has 23 touchdowns and 1 interception against the blitz.
Unless your team can develop a pass rush naturally, do not expect to beat the Chiefs, as blitzing is no longer an option.
NFL Week 4: Super Bowl Contenders Can Be Found In The North
All odds are provided by the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Looking at the NFL Super Bowl odds heading into week 4, we see several contenders in the NFC that can rush the passer. The ability to rush the passer and keep the ball away from opposing offenses is a great way to beat high powered offenses. Let’s look at some value options in the NFC to compete with high scoring offenses (like the Chiefs).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1400)
Rushing the passer is so important to winning in this league. With that, the Buccaneers rank first in the NFL in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). DVOA ranks defenses and adjusts for the quality of opponents. In layman’s terms, the Buccaneers defense is currently ranked the best in the NFL and it has nothing to do with the strength of schedule.
The Buccaneers can do it all. Their offense is not nearly as high powered as the Chiefs but they can run the ball and do not turn the ball over. Furthermore, they are able to rush the passer without blitzing. Shaquill Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, and Vita Vea are as good of a front four that you will find in the NFL.
Tom Brady has more Super Bowl experience than any player in history. There appears to be value here as they would be able to avoid a playoff date with the Chiefs until they play the Super Bowl, in Tampa Bay coincidentally.
This is more of a longshot play but the Patriots are the prototypical team to face high-powered offenses. The Patriots have one of the best secondaries in the NFL and Stephon Gilmore is coming off of Defensive Player of the Year honors. This appears to be a bad matchup for Kansas City as they can defend the pass and run the ball as well as anyone.
The Patriots took a flyer on Cam Newton after Tom Brady departed. Cam Newton and the Patriots lead the league in rushing yards and he looks rejuvenated. Expect the Patriots to make a move for a wide receiver soon as N’Keal Harry is not going to cut it any longer.
The longshot stab might not be so long especially if the Patriots inquire about Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., or Allen Robinson. Their odds would increase drastically if they pulled off a trade.
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