In what should make for an entertaining matchup, we will get yet another clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots this Sunday. Coming off of a dominant Monday night victory, the defending champions are 3-0. New England is 2-1, having bested the Las Vegas Raiders last week. In this piece, we will get to know the Chiefs opponent for Sunday’s game. From behind enemy lines, here is our view of the New England Patriots.
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Welcome To The New Age
For the first time in my life, Tom Brady is no longer a New England Patriot. Cam Newton has made that transition much easier than anticipated. With his health seemingly near 100 percent, and the dual threat ability that he possesses, Newton has helped make New England even more unpredictable. Tony Romo said it best when commentating the Patriots game in Week One. They have so many options in how to run their offense. We saw the power running game from Newton and the running backs in the first game. Next, they aired it out all over the yard, before ultimately using a good balanced attack in their previous contest.
It is not just that Newton looks healthier, he is playing angry as well. After being released by the only team he knew in the Carolina Panthers, the former Auburn Tiger has a rather large chip on his shoulder. This brings to question, as to why the national media believed Cam wouldn’t fit in with Bill Belichick or the Patriot Way? Just think of all the other players on this team who play with that mindsight and fuel. So far, Cam Newton has been just what the doctor ordered for this current New England squad, while also reminding people just how good he can be.
It has come as no surprise, as to how the Patriots are playing defense stylistically. Though, the continued success of everybody filling their role and playing to their strength has not gone away. Top defensive players are not there, after opting out due to the pandemic. Amazingly, this set of younger players have seized their opportunity.
Second year man out of Michigan, Chase Winovich, has enjoyed a fast start. His 1.5 sacks is tied for the team lead. Winovich has also notched a forced fumble and five quarterback hits. Kansas City must keep tabs on him on Sunday. Elsewhere, the newfound linebacker tandem of Ja’Whaun Bentley and Brandon Copeland have been flying around the field making plays, as well as flying under the radar. Finally, the New England Patriots have always done a good job of utilizing multiple defensive backs. The play of Adrian Phillips, Jonathan Jones, JC Jackson and Joejuan Williams has masked the slight disappointment of a slow start from veteran Stephon Gilmore, at least according to his standards. Those four defensive backs have the ability to hang with the Chiefs weapons, just as well as Gilmore and the McCourty brothers do. Belichick and New England have the confidence that they can excel in pressured moments.
Running The Gauntlet
The most important thing the Chiefs must do on Sunday, is stop the New England Patriots offensive rush attack. Other than a few lengthy runs from Lamar Jackson, Kansas City’s run defense showed some fight in a big time game last week. They were also aided by the Ravens abandoning the run so early. If the Patriots are given the same opportunity, it feels like they would adhere to sticking with the run game more often.
And it is anybody’s guess, as to who will be called upon. The aforementioned Newton has looked like his old self with power run attempts and option reads. Meanwhile, the constantly changing lead back role continues to switch. The Patriots were led last week with a monster game from Rex Burkhead. On the other hand, Sony Michel looks to stake his claim and JJ Taylor has carved out a slashing role. Respected veteran James White could also rejoin the fold, after missing the last two games following a death in his family. The Chiefs have to kill the engine again, and be aware of the multi-dimensional rushing attack.
That will conclude our look into the New England Patriots from behind enemy lines. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– 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.