4 Kansas City Chiefs most likely to derail their Super Bowl chances

The Kansas City Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl, looking for their second-straight title. However, some of their own players might get in the way.

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs
Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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The Kansas City Chiefs and Andy Reid run a tight ship. Heck, Patrick Mahomes has even offered to take his teammates back to Las Vegas after the Super Bowl under the assumption that they don't get in trouble during the week. It's a fair deal, and one the Chiefs players should be comfortable with given they are professional athletes and have been here before.

Kansas City is competing to win its third Super Bowl since Mahomes took over as starting quarterback. They've been to six straight AFC Championship Games, winning four of those.

“This is a business trip. I told the guys that if we win I’ll bring everyone back to Vegas to celebrate," Mahomes said at Super Bowl media day.

The Vegas nightlife is tough to ignore, and something every Kansas City player needs to take in account. Distractions are everywhere, barring you give them the time of day.

If we're being honest, though, the biggest threat for this Chiefs team is on the opposing sideline. The San Francisco 49ers may be favored, but they're also overshadowed. The NFC's finest pose a significant challenge to a Kansas City team that has gotten hot at the right time, but still features several obvious weaknesses, including their limited receiving corps.

These four Chiefs cannot afford to have an off night on Sunday.

4. Whoever is covering George Kittle

Kansas City's plan against Brock Purdy should be relatively simple -- come at him early and often. In order for the Chiefs to avoid becoming Purdy's latest victim, specifically as they leave their secondary open by blitzing, they must cover tight end George Kittle with a safety. A linebacker is unlikely to cut it, as Kittle is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL. Whether it be Justin Reid or Mike Edwards, one will be forced into an uncomfortable position while the other helps over the top.

While his pop-star-dating counterpart in Kansas City receives most of the attention, Kittle is just as big of a threat on Super Sunday. One of the more underrated storylines of Sunday's game is that it will feature two of the best tight ends of their generation. Kelce has a bit of an edge there with his seven 1,000-yard seasons, but Kittle isn't far behind.

In piece by The Athletic comparing the two this week, veteran safety Eric Weddle determined the difference between Kittle and Kelce is that the former is tougher to bring down, while the latter excels as a route-runner.

“Kittle is like a rhinoceros when he’s running with the ball,” Weddle said (subscription required). “I wouldn’t say he’s that hard to cover with his route running, but when he gets the ball in his hands, it’s a tall task to bring him down. That and the way he blocks separate him from everybody else in today’s game.”

Purdy is playing in his first Super Bowl and could be prone to mistakes, but not if the Chiefs make it easy on him by allowing Kittle the space necessary to get open.