Ready for the season to start? Guess what? So are NFL analysts. Everyone in the football community is ready to explode…and what does the NFL offer up to us – the incredibly generous gift of the Chiefs versus the Patriots on opening day. Two of the five best teams in the league. Thanks, NFL!
These NFL analysts that I previously mentioned – you know how they are going to display their enthusiasm the next 24 hours? Overanalyzing the Patriots-Chiefs game. When they do, what do you think they're going to say about the Patriots plan to thwart the Chiefs? There's only one thing to talk about – stopping Tyreek Hill.
In the same way that the media is approximately 90% of one political affiliation/philosophy…the same applies in their football thinking. Most of them don't have any core beliefs about football -- they just mimic the consensus and think that's somehow brilliant. The consensus of football people deemed very early this calendar year that Tyreek Hill was a flash in the pan who cannot repeat his 2016 performance. I have maintained from day one that Hill was going to see increased touches, so even if his radical pace of output per touch drifted – his touch count would rise to offset it. But it doesn't matter what I think because I'm not on every TV station, sports talk radio, and in every website publication. They are. And they are all going to say roughly the same thing all leading up to this game – the Patriots have to stop Tyreek Hill, and you know how Bill Belichick looks to take out the opposition's best weapon.
It's a true statement. There's no denying it. No one can sound dumb saying it. You run the risk of being called an idiot if you bet against Belichick taking out the opponents top guy. I'm prepared to bet against it – I'm prepared to bet on Tyreek Hill and against Belichick taking out the opponent's weapon in this case.
I'm not saying Hill will have a field day and set records, I would maintain that it's virtually impossible to stop Tyreek Hill unless the coaching staff of the Chiefs does so. The only thing that limits Hill is Andy Reid and Alex Smith. Really, it's Andy Reid. It's not difficult to sprinkle in a few more jet sweeps and toss some more simple bubble screens Hill's way.
What exactly do you think Bill Belichick is going to do to stop this freak/Tyreek of nature? I have no doubt he's going to use a player to shadow Tyreek – it might be Eric Rowe. It could've been Cyrus Jones if he were not hurt…and if he was any good. A DB is going to track Tyreek over-the-top, while another defensive player comes up closer. All the Chiefs need to do is flip Hill bubble screens and he eventually tear up the up-close shadow. I'm sure he will be stopped on some plays, but Tyreek is like scratch off lottery tickets – the more you play the more likely you could become a millionaire. If Tyreek gets three touches in the game and does nothing – that's on the Chiefs. Everyone knew Todd Gurley was getting the ball last year and he still got 15–20 touches in games. If the Chiefs have any chance at winning this game, they're going to have to get Hill the ball in his hands 10+ times. If you tell me Tyreek Hill will have five carries and five catches in this game – I'll tell you he's a WR1 for this week. I don't think it's statistically possible for Tyreek to touch the ball 10 times without taking one of them to the house. I'm sure Kansas City is going to pull out all the stops in this heavyweight fight -- and we'll see if he'll also return kicks and punts just for this game, not on the reg…just for this special game. More Tyreek is the only way to defeat Belichick.
Early on, you'll probably see a Hill as a bit of a decoy. The Patriots will be so ramped up on Tyreek it's going to offer a Chris Conley option that could shock the Patriots. As the game flow settles in Tyreek is going to see opportunities. If the Chiefs start blowing out the Patriots, there's no way Andy Reid pulls back on the reins – I assume he watched the Super Bowl. The Patriots are never dead. If Tyreek has four TDs and the Chiefs are up 28-0 to start the fourth quarter – I come right out with more Tyreek. Until it's 50–0 with a minute left I'll start pulling back on Tyreek.
If the Patriots are blowing out the Chiefs, then what would the Chiefs do? The only way to get back into the game is get Tyreek touches and hope he turns them into lightning strike gold to get back into the game. There are not many circumstances in this particular game where Tyreek would be throttled back – unless Andy Reid is a total utter fool. But he's shown the vision last year to use Tyreek in the most innovative way in the history of the NFL…and to some of the greatest rookie results ever seen in the NFL. All he's talked about since January was getting Tyreek more touches…and he ditched Jeremy Maclin.
If the Chiefs lose this game and Tyreek Hill has one carry and two catches on four targets…the Chiefs fan base should burn the organizational headquarters to the ground via pitchfork and torches. We've got a little mini Christian McCaffrey situation here – Andy Reid has painted himself into the corner of going all in on Tyreek – now he's got to prove he was right. I don't think he throttles Tyreek back, nor do I think Bill Belichick has a magic voodoo spell to stop a guy like Hill from having his moment. Tyreek is too unique to put in the same category as other weapons Belichick has shut down.
I say all this because the next 24 hours of listening to football analysis will probably make you want to throw up and worry about Tyreek getting taken out by Belichick. That's what we do in fantasy, we worry. We never dream of the possibilities…we dwell on the worst case scenarios. The media will oblige on this (1) because their anti-Tyreek and (2) being pro-Patriots stopping Tyreek is a safe, crowded position. It's the one THEY'll take. Don't worry about what they say because THEY're almost always wrong about everything. If the mainstream analysis is fawning of Tyreek -- then start to worry.
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