1. Miami Dolphins
We arrive at the real heavy-hitter.
The Miami Dolphins have shown a few dents in the armor lately, but at the end of the day, is there a team better prepared to match Kansas City stride-for-stride on the offensive end? No. No there is not.
Maybe that's not the best way to beat the Chiefs. Kansas City knows how to win a shootout. The key to beating the Chiefs is disrupting Mahomes' rhythm and controlling time of possession. Miami's defense has, shall we say, room left to grow. But, Jalen Ramsey returned on Sunday and the early returns are expectedly positive. If the Dolphins can string together enough stops, Miami's offense has the ability to slice up even the best defenses — and yes, the Chiefs are one of the best defenses.
Mike McDaniel versus Andy Reid has the potential to be a real passing of the torch moment (it could also end similarly to Obi-Wan slicing Anakin's legs off at the base of a volcano, but alas). McDaniel has meticulously constructed the NFL's most explosive offense. It's a machine. Tua Tagovailoa and each receiver operate with an intrinsic sense of time and space. The ball is consistently delivered on time to the exact right spot. Then, of course, there is the natural benefit of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle torching defenders after the catch with game-breaking speed.
The Dolphins even have an elite run game to back up the Tua-Tyreek MVP campaign. Raheeem Mostert has the second-most touchdowns in the NFL this season (12). De'Von Achane is tied for fourth (7) and he hasn't played since Wekk 5. McDaniel has the entire group humming, and it's difficult to count out the possibility of Miami even winning a straight shootout. That's how good the group is.
Kansas City definitely profiles as the favorite in every matchup here, but Miami has the highest collective ceiling and the most innovative head coach to combat Andy Reid's masterful offensive orchestration.