NFL Czar: Chiefs' season on the line

Upset of the week? Not a chance. At least not when the Kansas City Chiefs head to Gillette Stadium to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Chiefs have been ridiculously inconsistent on the year and even lost to the Dolphins a few weeks ago. However, they are the defending champs in the AFC West and still have a shot with the Chargers struggling as well.

The Patriots have lost a step on offence, but are still the obvious team to beat in the AFC. Teams have started to put pressure on Tom Brady, and that has made all the difference. If you hit him (or any other quarterback in the league, for that matter), he gets rattled, and he has been making poor decisions. Brady has been throwing more interceptions than usual, and the Chiefs will have to get a couple in order to win this game.

Key Matchups
1. Matt Cassel vs. Tom Brady: Not really a marquee matchup per se, but the story writes itself. A couple years ago, Cassel replaced Brady after a season-ending injury ended the All-Pro's season. Cassel led the Pats to 10 wins but missed the playoffs. Now, he leads the Chiefs for the first showdown against his former team with a lot to prove.

2. Brandon Flowers vs. Wes Welker: Flowers, a former firstround pick, will likely have the ultra-tough task of trying to cover Welker in this one. While not overly fast, Welker finds ways to get open and catches pretty much everything thrown his way.

3. Jackie Battle vs. Thomas Jones vs. Dexter McCluster: All three Chiefs running backs are getting a bit of work as they try to replace Jamaal Charles. While Jones is the classy veteran and McCluster is the big-play threat, it has been Battle producing the most. A tough-nosed runner, Battle has what it takes to put up decent, yet unspectacular, numbers. Reminds me of former Cleveland Brown Reuben Droughns.

The Rundown
After three tough matchups in a row, the Patriots should be able to rebound nicely in this one. The only problem will arise if they look past the Chiefs to future opponents, but I don't see that happening here. Give me the Pats by a bunch, 38-20.

For next week, enjoy the U.S. Thanksgiving triple-header, than settle in for a Monday Night battle in the Bayou.