They're on a roll: If momentum counts for anything, the Chiefs have a huge advantage. They won 10 straight to finish the regular season and then dominated the Houston Texans in Saturday's 30-0 first-round playoff victory. Meanwhile, the Patriots have lost their last two games, both against opponents who failed to make the playoffs.
They're great on the road: The Chiefs are a confident bunch when they go on the road -- and for good reason. They've won seven of the 10 games they've played outside of Kansas City this season. They've played six of those 10 games against teams that made the playoffs. The Chiefs have been a better team on the road than at home this season by many statistical measures as well. Whatever distractions that tend to trip up most road teams don't seem to have an effect on the Chiefs.
Defensive versatility: New England coach Bill Belichick has long been successful in adapting the Patriots' offense each week to attack the weaknesses of its upcoming opponent. He won't find much to pick on in the Kansas City defense. The Chiefs are coming off the NFL's first playoff shutout in a decade, albeit against a younger and less experienced quarterback than the Patriots' Tom Brady. The Chiefs finished third in the NFL in scoring defense during the regular season and counting the playoff win gave up more than 20 points in only one of their last 13 games. The Patriots, who were third in the league in scoring, will bring a bigger challenge.