Cliff Notes - A Dose of Reality

Warpaint Illustrated's C.E. Wendler recently argued why Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick should start quarterback Tom Brady this Sunday against the Chiefs. To me, the decision to start Tom Brady seems like a no-brainer. If he was healthy enough to go against the Giants, then he's healthy enough to go against the Chiefs.

However, let's do a little point-counterpoint action on this issue. Let's temper our unbridled optimism and take a moment to remember who Kansas City's opponent is this weekend: the Patriots.

The Chiefs are going up against a Patriots organization that hasn't lost a season opener since 2000. Meanwhile, Kansas City is riding a regular season losing-streak of nine games, and the Patriots have won their last 16 regular season contests. The mighty Patriots fell in last season's Super Bowl, while the Chiefs have been struggling to stay afloat in the toilet bowl.

It's true, New England's reign has to end sometime, but they've not yet shown any real signs of aging. Wendler cited the elder linebacking corps as a weakness for New England. If Mike Vrabel, Teddy Bruschi, Jerod Mayo, and Adalius Thomas are considered a weakness, you must have one strong team.

Wendler also reminisced about the less than stellar performances Randy Moss had against the Chiefs during his time as a Raider. Well, Moss had less than stellar performances against pretty much everyone during his time as a Raider. With the likes of Kerry Collins, Andrew Walter, and Aaron Brooks throwing the ball, no one could have put up decent numbers during those years in Oakland.

Moss scored 23 touchdowns last season, more than Larry Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Tony Gonzalez, Kolby Smith and Brodie Croyle combined. The Chiefs don't have an answer for Moss - nobody does when he's on a good team. Moss is the greatest receiver of this millennium, and one of the best to ever play the game.

Wendler also talked about the loss of Donte Stallworth. While Stallworth is a fantastic player, he was still only the Patriots' third option at wideout last season. Even reserve running back Kevin Faulk caught more balls.

Wendler also heralded Damon Huard's abilities as a scout team quarterback. I'm not too sure where this notion that Huard's a great scout teamer comes from, but I do know one thing - the Chiefs have not fared so well against Peyton Manning as was suggested. I recall a particular playoff game in 2003 where Kansas City's defense couldn't force a single Colts punt (editor's note – Huard was a New England Patriot in 2003). I guess they really showed him!

Let's get real here, the Patriots are the hands-down favorite to win this Sunday, with or without Brady. Throw Matt Cassell in and he still has Moss, Welker and Benjamin Watson to throw to. If Cassell plays, the Pats will have an unproven, young quarterback with lots of weapons, just like the Chiefs.

Let's also not forget about New England's running game. Their feature back is Laurence Maroney. He split carries with Dallas' Marion Barber in college, and had to do the same with Corey Dillon in the early part of his career. He's an outstanding running back, and will have to share the load once again, this time with LaMont Jordan, also a solid back.

The Chiefs will not go up to Foxboro and roll over for the Pats, but don't expect them to be world beaters. Kansas City's offense is starting two offensive tackles who have been injured throughout the preseason, they're coming off a 4-12 season, and they have to play the Patriots in Foxboro.

I'm not saying Chiefs fans should buy into the doom and gloom propaganda written by Jason Whitlock, but I am saying they should have realistic expectations heading into the season opener

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