Published: Jan. 17, 2019 at 05:10 p.m.
Updated: Jan. 23, 2019 at 04:51 p.m.

NFL playoffs: Which Championship Sunday coach-QB duo is most dangerous?

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Championship Sunday features the top four scoring teams in the NFL. Not coincidentally, this doubleheader also offers four of the finest coach-quarterback combos in the game today:

New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton and Drew Brees.
Los Angeles Rams: Sean McVay and Jared Goff.
Kansas City Chiefs: Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.
New England Patriots: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

Such a lineup of dynamic duos begs the question: Which Championship Sunday coach-QB tandem is most dangerous right now?

Can anyone stop Patrick Mahomes?
The Chiefs have been an offensive juggernaut since Week 1 with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes leading the way. Fielding the league's top scoring offense, Kansas City got in the end zone 20 more times than its opponents this season. I just don't know if any of the defenses left can stop Mahomes -- and for that reason, I have to go with K.C.
K.C.'s offense has been on a tear ... and the Mahomes-Reid marriage is just getting started
You can argue that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the greatest coach-quarterback duo in NFL history. There's also no disputing that Sean Payton helped Drew Brees become one of the most prolific passers ever. However, don't underestimate the danger brewing in Kansas City because of Patrick Mahomes' talent and Andy Reid's creativity.

Mahomes is on his way to winning league MVP honors in his first season as a starter. He has set the bar so high with his numbers -- becoming just the second player in NFL history to pass for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a single season (joining Peyton Manning) -- that it's difficult to imagine what he does for an encore. By the way, the dude is just 23 years old. So while the Patriots and Saints have enjoyed great runs with their respective duos, the Chiefs are scarier for an entirely different reason: Mahomes and Reid are just getting started.
This is the time of year when Belichick and Brady thrive
How can you argue against a duo that has been to EIGHT STRAIGHT AFC Championship Games? You can't! This year's Patriots offense might not be the best version of the Belichick-Brady era, but the edge lies in the duo's experience late in the postseason. These two have seen everything and aren't surprised by anything. Now is when Belichick and Brady are truly at their best.
Sean Payton-Drew Brees tandem keeps the Saints marching
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the easy choice, but they are on the road this weekend -- Brady is 3-4 on the road in playoff games.

Therefore, I am going with Sean Peyton and Drew Brees. They are undefeated at home in the playoffs, and I think their team is better this time than when the played the Rams earlier this season, a game they also won. The Saints' defense is better now, while the Rams' defense is not as good.
Belichick-Brady has been the gold standard forever ... but here comes Reid-Mahomes!
It's difficult to go against the coach-quarterback combo we've been marveling over for nearly TWO FULL DECADES now, but for the sake of something different, I think the most dangerous couple this Sunday is the one opposing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady: Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.

It is Mahomes' improvisational skills -- if you don't think of Brett Favre when you watch him, you might be 10 years old -- that make him such a threat. His arm slots, his ability to throw on the run, his ability to run, period, make him so unpredictable. And as Belichick himself pointed out, Reid has injected into his offense non-West Coast elements that play to Mahomes' strengths. He threw two early interceptions in the Chiefs' regular-season loss to the Patriots, but what will make him a feared opponent for years to come is what happened after that: The 23-year-old was unrattled and brought the Chiefs all the way back to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. That all suggests that this moment will not be too big for him, which is about the only question remaining with the NFL's wunderkind.
Mahomes' intoxicating ability pushes the Chiefs' duo to the top
I'm taking the combo in Kansas City for one big reason: Patrick Mahomes has more ability to extend plays out of the pocket than any other remaining quarterback. When was the last time we saw Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Jared Goff make plays consistently with their legs and arms off-schedule? Exactly. Mahomes has wowed us all season long with his physical ability, which takes Andy Reid's risk-taking to a whole other level. I'm not sure the other three coach-QB duos can hang with the Chiefs.
History says don't doubt Belichick-Brady
Tom Brady might not be in his prime physically, but I have to stay true to my beloved Patriots because Bill Belichick and Brady are the MOST dangerous duo in postseason history. In the Belichick era, the Patriots have advanced to the Super Bowl eight times, winning five rings, and last Sunday's blowout win punched the ticket to their eighth straight AFC title game. Until these two aren't playing in late January on a consistent basis, they remain the most dangerous duo.
All four coaches are outstanding, but Mahomes is the ultimate X-factor at QB
These four combos have been at the top of the NFL for a majority of the season, so it's fitting that they're all playing on Championship Sunday. As good as the other three are, the Andy Reid- Patrick Mahomes marriage gets my vote. Reid's creativity combined with Mahomes' out-of-this-world talent makes them so dangerous. The second-year passer can transcend the Xs and Os unlike any other quarterback on this list and make up for a lot of weaknesses. For all of these reasons, defenses should fear this duo the most.
Good luck stopping Belichick's mind and Brady's moxie
No coach handles game duties and manages the game better than Bill Belichick. At this time of year, the Patriots are simply at their best thanks to Belichick's ability to game plan and make adjustments. More often than not, the Patriots find a way to take away opponents' strengths, forcing them to beat New England in a different manner. Another factor playing in the Pats' favor: They have the most clutch quarterback in the history of the game. There's no better signal-caller when the game is on the line; Brady's decision-making, clock management and on-field play are something to behold.
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