Written by: Chris Rubio
With the Chiefs upcoming game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night we find the two opponents sitting on top of their respective conferences. Our Chiefs are 7-2, and the Eagles are 8-1. How far a leap is it for us to imagine that this game could be a preview of a future Las Vegas meet-up in February between these two leaders? Let’s not get too far ahead of our skis now. Plenty of football will be played between now and February, so let’s take this ride slowly, week by week, and enjoy these moments. Let’s take Baby steps.
Speaking of previews, who doesn’t love going to the movies? I love a great preview, it gives me a chance to decide if I will invest 2.5 hours of my life in a future movie. Usually, when I sit down for a preview, I have my popcorn and snack ready for the long haul; I have the best intentions to make it all last; my only problem is that my snack never lasts past the previews! Recently, I’ve reunited with Twizzlers. I had forgotten the sheer awesomeness of a good Twizzler. One of the strangest things I find about the previews is the ones where they tell you, “This film has not been rated yet.” The minute I see that, I’m thinking, OK, what are they holding back from me on the ending? I mean, why can’t they figure this stuff out? As soon as they say that I’m thinking “How come?”. I mean, Why show the preview if you haven’t figured out the whole story?
This preview that we are about to witness is going to be in front of a hungry crowd. The Chiefs haven’t seen the home crowd at Arrowhead since October 22. That’s a heck of a long time for our fans to be without some home-field football. I expect the crowd to be crazy loud. I usually turn up the TV to feel like I’m with the crowd if I can’t physically be in Arrowhead. Both teams will be coming off a bye week, so they are well-rested. Andy Reid has a stunning record of 28 wins and only four losses when his teams come off a bye week. Based on this history, we can be sure that our Chiefs will be ready. Thanks to Social Media, we all know how Taylor’s BF spent the bye-week, but I’m sure he will also be prepared come game-time on Monday night to face his brother.
In looking at the match-ups, I expect that the key match-up will be for the Chiefs to contain The Eagle’s star receiver, AJ Brown. Containing Brown should be the key to a Chiefs victory. If we can slow AJ Brown, I expect we will find our way into the victory column. AJ Brown is averaging 112 yards per game and is undeniably one of the elite receivers in the league Our Chiefs have already faced the game’s most elite receivers so far this season. Justin Jefferson, considered the best of the best, gained a mere 28 yards; Tyreek Hill, who currently leads the league in receiving, gained only 62 yards with no touchdowns, and Keenan Allen, another stud receiver, gained a mere 55 yards. The evidence is clear: our defense makes it a point to disrupt the elite receivers in the NFL and, during this season, have been and will be tested by all of the current greats in the league. Upcoming Challengers will be AJ Brown, Stefan Diggs, and Jamaar Chase. If there were such a scoreboard for containing elite receivers, to date, it would read: Chiefs Cornerbacks 3, Stud receivers 0. Advantage Chiefs.
So who are the characters inflicting such dominance over the NFL elites? They are mainly Chiefs cornerbacks Lajarius Sneed, and Trent McDuffie. I have written about McDuffie and how he has demonstrated his greatness in the turnover that he created in the Dolphins game, but what about his sidekick? What do we know about Lajarius Sneed?
Sneed comes from a tiny town in Louisiana called Minden and was drafted by the Chiefs in the 2020 draft in the 4th round, whereas McDuffie is a first-round draftee. Sneed comes from a complicated background. Sneed’s family background is that both of his parents were in prison while he was a child. Sneed was raised as a child by his older brother TQ, who was also a child, for a period of time while their parents served jail sentences. Sadly, Sneed’s brother TQ was killed in 2021 as a victim of a stabbing. His parents have both emerged from prison to complete college and hold responsible jobs, and can be seen at Chiefs games cheering on their son. Sneed is the light for this family, the fact that he emerged from such a difficult past displays the determination of this young man. Hopefully, he is about to get a huge payday by the Chiefs this off-season because he is demonstrating his greatness by quietly shutting down the other teams’ top guns. On Monday I expect Spags to have a fantastic game plan designed to stop AJ Brown and rely on the quiet greatness of Lajarius Sneed who goes by the nickname JJ. Shortly after the Chiefs won the Superbowl this past February, JJ presented his mom with a brand new Audi SUV. He’s that guy!
When we think of the movies and their previews, some of the best movies are the ones that have a story like the one of JJ’s life. Who among the Chiefs fans would not be rooting for JJ? He is our homegrown – drafted, quiet defensive star. He’s making his way to prime time, and he will take center stage on Monday. So on Monday on Primetime TV, we will be besieged with family pics of TK and Tay Tay because that’s what the Swifties want to see, but the real show to watch will be AJ vs. JJ. I’m hopeful that this preview leads to a sequel in February; if that’s the case, I hope Andy Reid and Spags save enough of their best material for the sequel. Let’s Go!