We have waited all week for Sunday Night Football. It’s the Chiefs coming to Foxborough, still undefeated, looking to go three games up on the AFC reigning Patriots. Kansas City is coming off their most complete win of the season, where they scored thirty points and Patrick Mahomes did not even throw a single touchdown pass. The bad news? The Chiefs come into the matchup after being bit by the injury bug throughout the week, and the ailments will keep a few starters on the defensive side from playing. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the headlines leading into the Chiefs-Patriots game.
The general consensus is calling for this game to be a shootout. Given how both offenses attack, that would not seem like that difficult of a feat for either team. Both teams are among the top ten in the league in points per game. The Chiefs have scored at least twenty-seven points in every game this season, and they only have one game where they put up less than thirty. Meanwhile, the Patriots have scored twenty-seven or more in all three of their wins this season. This shouldn’t come to a surprise to anyone anymore. Given the way defenses have to change their play to fit the new rules and the new concepts in NFL play calling, points are being put on the scoreboard at an ultra-impressive rate.
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What’s New This Week?
With each win, the Chiefs have shown that they can get it done in many different ways. Last week might have been the best game they’ve had defensively, as they sacked Blake Bortles five times and came away with five takeaways.
We will have to see what gameplan the Chiefs present on Sunday, but there are a couple of things they can attempt on both sides of the ball. Firstly, the defenders may fare better by jumping Tom Brady‘s passing lanes. Force Brady to beat you deep, and limit the number of times that he throws those eight-yard curl routes and seven-yard out routes that New England loves to run, as they just kill defenses slowly. Offensively, Kansas City could benefit by feeding Kareem Hunt like they did last year in his debut against these Patriots. It seems commonplace that some analyst on the pregame shows will say you have to eat away the clock to beat New England. It happens every week, but it’s true. Hunt is one of the toughest backs to bring down and he is capable of doing many different things for the offense.
Another for the Chiefs offense is to secure long sustaining drives. That is something they were able to do last week against the Jaguars. On drives where Kansas City’s offense scored against Jacksonville, the Chiefs ran ten, fourteen, six, twelve and six plays respectively. Those drives ate up close to twenty-two and a half minutes of the game.
Matchup to Watch: Patriots RBs vs Chiefs LBs
The Patriots running backs are some of the best out in space. Rookie Sony Michel has a mini hot streak going for himself, and he is not afraid to run inside the tackles. James White eats up tons of yards as a receiving back, where he forces plenty of missed tackles week in and week out. Last week, the Chiefs linebackers had trouble containing Jaguars receiving back T.J. Yeldon. There were not enough tackles made before the Jaguars runners reached the first down marker. Whichever side wins this matchup will be a big key in a game that could be very close.
It’s safe to say that Dee Ford is playing as good as any edge rusher in the NFL right now. He is in a contract year, he is healthy and he is getting to the quarterback. Believe it or not, Ford enters this week as the NFL leader in total quarterback pressures with 29. Granted, Khalil Mack has played one less game, and he has an impressive amount of pressures as well. This is a season the Chiefs needed to have from Ford and Ford needed to have for himself. Sacks are generally the more appreciated pass rushing stat, but pressure forces the quarterback to move his feet and sometimes move into other pressure. We saw that a lot last week with Bortles.
Since coming to Kansas City, Andy Reid has led the Chiefs to a 2-1 record against the Patriots. In those games, the Chiefs have outscored New England 103-68. That is an impressive swing for Reid’s record against the Patriots, as he was just 1-4 against New England as coach of the Eagles. That only win, the Patriots were not led by Tom Brady. Instead, the Eagles got that win over Drew Bledsoe.
We will definitely be seeing Brady out there on Sunday night. Thank you for reading this in anticipation of that game. Be sure to check out all of the great content on Full Press Coverage. Enjoy the Chiefs-Patriots contest.