#3. Win Special Teams
With so many close wins in 2016, it’s clear the Chiefs rely heavily on the kicking game.
Cairo Santos booted the overtime winning field goal at Denver not long after his time expiring, game-winner against the Carolina Panthers. Santos comes to Atlanta the reigning AFC special teams player of the month and not having missed on tries 40 yards or further. The Falcons can hardly force Santos to miss, but to win the game is to control field position and keep Kansas City’s Brazilian kicker off the field.
Tyreek Hill may be the most dangerous player on the field come Sunday. Last week against Denver, Hill ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass, and scored on an 86-yard kickoff return. The Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver is so much of an ‘X-Factor’ that Gary Kubiak choose to try a 62-yard field goal instead of punting to Hill during overtime of the week 12 matchup with Kansas City.
The Falcons will try to keep the ball out of Tyreek Hill’s hands during special teams plays but the pressure is really on the coverage teams. This game has all the makings of a contest won and lost on field position and the Chiefs’ quickest player is dynamic enough to put his club in a position to win late. Dan Quinn acknowledged this during his weekly press conference:
"“That’s going to be the cover units on both teams. They are plus-six in drive starts inside the [20-yard line] and were at plus-two inside the 20-yard line. They’ve got good returners, let’s make sure we’re not giving up hidden yardage in that way.”"