This week the New England Patriots travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the undefeated defending Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs. This game will be the most daunting for the Patriots all season long as Kansas City is the best team in the NFL according to most people. With that being said the Patriots still have a fighting chance on Sunday to upset the league’s best.
A lot of people when they think of this matchup think of Belichick vs Reid.
These two all-time great coaches have squared off a number of times over the years with Belichick having a 7-3 record including a SuperBowl victory in February 2005. Reid however now has the better Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes who also has talent all over his offensive unit. Bill sure has a big task against Andy this time around.
The biggest component to this game will be can the Patriots defense contain Mahomes. It is pretty much impossible to shut down Mahomes entirely but if the Patriots can contain his big arm and not give up chunk plays that will be a big help. Mahomes has yet to throw an interception this season and leads the league in TD passes (9) and QBR (91.8) so making him a non factor is not happening. The secondary for the Patriots is among the best in the league so far this season the Chiefs have not faced a secondary as good as them, but obviously the Patriots have not faced a great offense like Kansas City yet either. The key for the Patriots defense will be to make Kansas City work for points, go on 13, 14, 15 play drives and convert on 3rd down. Consistently giving up 15-20 yard plays to Kansas City with the weapons they are littered with, is a recipe for disaster.
Offensively the Patriots are going to have to keep pace against the Chiefs offense and control possession.
If you go back and look at the AFC title game between these two a couple seasons ago you will find out in regulation the Patriots had the ball for 39:11 meanwhile the Chiefs only had it for 20:53. The Patriots did this by running the ball and staying on the field on third down. So far this season the Patriots have been a slightly above average team on third down at 45.5% conversion rate (11th) and so far this season the Chiefs have held opponents to a 40.62% conversion rate (13th). The big thing for the Patriots offense this week will be possession control in hopes of burning out the Chiefs defense and keeping Patrick Mahomes and all his weapons off the field.
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