The week is finally here, where the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the New England Patriots. This is part three of the Tom Brady versus Patrick Mahomes matchup. So far, Brady holds the advantage at 2-0. With that said, it’s time to look towards the major keys for Sunday’s game. Here we go with our Chiefs versus Patriots game preview.
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This Kansas City defense has thrived off of creating pressure. Brady is one of the best in history against the blitz. But this season, it has been a different story. The struggles from the offensive line and the receivers, has led to distrust from Brady.
Steve Spagnuolo is not afraid to dial up pressure. The key in this game, will be to keep that pressure hot and heavy. If you can consistently get to Brady and throw him off, then the Patriots offense can go stagnant. As a result, the Chiefs may give up less big plays to the Patriots, as well as affecting their plans.
Spagnuolo specials like defensive back blitzes and stunts should be something to watch for. Elsewhere, letting certain players like Chris Jones and Frank Clark continuously pin their ears back and go eventually will break through. The Chiefs have the ability to frustrate the Patriots.
Beat Your Man
It’s no secret that man coverage from New England has caused problems for the Chiefs in the past. The physicality of the Patriots is always a tough aspect to consistently beat, throughout the course of a game. At times this season, Kansas City has improved in being physical and playing nasty. However, this contest will call for everyone to do well.
Besides Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the other weapons have not had sustained success. Remember the three touchdown game that Sammy Watkins had in Week One? He has not scored since. Additionally, Demarcus Robinson‘s role has significantly decreased since Hill got healthy. Mecole Hardman has had some bright spots. However, his usage and role has been unclear.
It’s not that they can’t beat man coverage. They certainly have the guys to do it. Overall, the Chiefs have just not made the necessary adjustments in the last couple of meetings against the Patriots.
The Patriots running game has definitely not cut this season. I was shocked to see certain notes, when looking at the numbers. Kansas City is not a team that leans on the running game. However, the Chiefs are not much worse than the Patriots in the offensive rushing attack. At 3.5 yards per carry, New England sits at tied for 29th in the NFL for that category. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are averaging 4.2 yards per carry.
In addition, the Patriots have tried to run the ball a fair amount. Yet, even though the Chiefs have 62 less rushing attempts on the year compared to the Patriots, things are closer than they seem.
We know the Chiefs run defense has struggled. For the most part Sony Michel has not had his best year. The New England offensive line has also been banged up. Containing and securing Michel will go a long way for the Chiefs in this game. It will be interesting to see if Kansas City stacks the box, and what their plan is to contain Michel.
Searching For Answers
Suddenly, the Chiefs are looking for help at running back. Damien Williams won’t be playing. Darrel Williams‘ season is over after suffering a nasty looking hamstring injury, and being placed on injured reserve. LeSean McCoy has shown he can still be effective. But when he makes a mistake, the magnitude is often too great. Rookie Darwin Thompson may have a chance to get more touches and opportunities on Sunday. Though will Andy Reid trust him?
I think he should. Thompson’s speed and toughness can make a difference in a monster game. The Patriots usually have a plan for everybody, but it’s hard to have much knowledge on Thompson still. If Spencer Ware sees action, his pass protection and receiving ability could be important for the Chiefs offense sustaining drives.
Matchup To Watch: Chiefs Secondary vs Patriots Receivers
We talked for a while now about this Chiefs secondary. They are playing smart and are getting more and more confident. Charvarius Ward is the player thriving the most, that nobody is talking about. The Middle Tennessee State product is finding his role in this scheme. Others like Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill and Daniel Sorensen have made huge plays in big moments.
Despite the Patriots receivers struggling, they can strike for big plays at any time. Forcing Brady to rely on the younger, less experienced guys will be a key. Frustrating Julian Edelman and shutting down N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers is not impossible for this secondary. The Chiefs have the opportunity to prove themselves here against these Patriots.
Andy Reid’s Chiefs teams have averaged 32 points per game at New England.
On the other hand, in the two games this season where the Patriots have allowed more than 14 points, they have lost both.
New England’s turnover differential is the best in the league at +18.
Kansas City has allowed just 13 points per game in the last two games. The Chiefs have a big opportunity on Sunday against the Patriots.
That will wrap up our Chiefs versus Patriots game preview. Sunday should be as exciting as we are anticipating. Stay tuned to Full Press Coverage, for more great sports and NFL content.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.