The New England Patriots had a 27-21 lead going into the fourth quarter. That was when Alex Smith and rookie running back Kareem Hunt took over for the Kansas City Chiefs, leading them to a 42-27 stunner on the defending champs. Which AFC team benefited the most from Smith's 368 passing yards and four touchdowns against New England in a statement win?
While Oakland and Tennessee are teams that could beat the Patriots in a sneaky fashion, they seem too young to pull off the feat, especially in the postseason. Kansas City showed they're up to the task, but they lost safety Eric Berry for the season with an Achilles injury. The AFC East is far too weak to really give anybody much of a bother for the New England Patriots.
That leaves the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are more loaded than ever on offense. If everything goes right, the Steelers could have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Steelers can expose New England's weak ability to stop the run with Le'Veon Bell. Once the run game has been established, Ben Roethlisberger can go to either Antonio Brown or Martavis Bryant, even trying with a deep ball to tear the Patriots up.
This is wishful thinking for haters of the Patriots and Steelers fans alike. This can only be done if Ben Roethlisberger stays healthy and if Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant both don't show any rust. However, Pittsburgh is one of the most balanced teams in the NFL. The Patriots are still a good bet to make the Super Bowl. They'll just have to be cautious of the Steel City's squad.
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