The New England Patriots are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs and the sweet sound of respect is in the air. The Chiefs destroyed the Patriots in the 2014 regular season, so New England doesn't have to act like they're turning a pumpkin into a Pomeranian; everything that the coaching staff will say about the Chiefs is true.
And then the Patriots are the reigning Super Bowl champions with the best head coach and quarterback combination in the history of football. The Chiefs don't have to make anything up either.
"[Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is] a friend, I mean, he's a heck of a football coach." Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said in a conference call. "And Tom Brady is unbelievable and the things that they've done there, I mean the accomplishments they've had - they've made history, so both of them are hall of famers - future hall of famers, so yeah, they've done a nice job.
"So we look forward to the challenge though, that's what this is all about - getting to play against the best, they're the World Champions. What a great challenge and an opportunity to play up there at Foxborough, great atmosphere, might be a little snow, it doesn't get any better than that."
The Chiefs are acknowledging that the Patriots are led by two of the all time greats, and by calling New England the World Champions, they're affirming their opponent's status at the top of the league.
Will Kansas City take any comfort away from last season's victory?
"That was then and this is now and so you prepare yourself," Reid said. "We've got guys playing now that were watching that on T.V. So you prepare yourself to go play against a good football team. And the team that's there, well we're in 16 now, so the team that's there in '16 - so not the team that was back there."
In week 4 of 2014, the Patriots were still playing zone defense due to Brandon Browner's residual suspension from the Seahawks, tight end Rob Gronkowski was still working his way back from an ACL injury (some point to his fourth quarter drive with Jimmy Garoppolo as the turning point in his recovery), then-rookie Bryan Stork was starting his first ever game at center, and then-rookie Cameron Fleming was the team's right guard.
The Chiefs were without safety Eric Berry and rookie cornerback Marcus Peters was still in college.
This is a game between two fairly different teams- although the two future Hall of Famers will remain the constant on the Patriots sideline.