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A big AFC championship game from Tyreek Hill is necessary — and inevitable

Chiefs Wire logo Chiefs Wire 1/20/2019 Charles Goldman
a man holding a baseball bat in front of a crowd: Getty © File photo Getty

Is a big game from Tyreek Hill necessary in a Chiefs victory over the Patriots? It is, and it also seems inevitable.

No single player has more receiving yards (275) against the Patriots over the last two years than Hill. Bill Belichick's calling card is taking away what a team does best. He's done it for years, and without Kareem Hunt to worry about, this makes Hill the first priority for the Patriots going into Sunday. When Belichick was asked about how to coach for Hill's speed, he replied, "Like, can we make someone that fast?"

Belichick knows there's simply no practicing for Hill's world-class speed without playing against him. Without being able to simulate that speed in practice, it makes defending him in a game extremely difficult.

As Patriots Wire managing editor Henry McKenna pointed out in our chat about this game, Hill is priority No. 1 for every team the Chiefs play, and he still managed to finish the season with 87 receptions for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Why is stopping Hill so difficult? It's because opponents constantly need to play with two deep safeties. Doing that means that there won't be a safety in the box to cover Travis Kelce, and matching him up with a linebacker is also a recipe for disaster.

It's the ultimate pick-your-poison game when facing this Chiefs offense. The combination of Hill, Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Damien Williams makes each player more threatening. Still it's Hill's blazing speed that keeps the Patriots head coach up at night. Hill's answer to the notion that his speed keeps Belichick up at night was a resounding, "Mhmm" followed by a nod. Whatever plans lie ahead for Hill, they're of little concern to him.

"It doesn't really matter to me," Hill said on Friday. "I'm just going to go in and work and compete and have fun. That's what I do, man."

That recipe for success has worked in the past for Hill against the Patriots, and in what's perhaps the most important game of his young career, it's bound to work another time.

Related slideshow: Best player matchups for conference title games (provided by Yardbarker)


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