The Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The game is scheduled to kickoff on Saturday at 4:35 PM. ET.
The Chiefs are coming off a 30-0 beat down of the Houston Texans. Kansas City’s defense forced four turnovers in the game. Houston quarterback, Brian Hoyer, threw four interceptions on the afternoon. The Kansas City offense played well, but the defense was the main reason for the dominant win. Kansas City has now won 11 straight games and cruise into the divisional round ready to face the reining Super Bowl Champions.
The Patriots secured a bye week by becoming the number two seed in the AFC playoff, and, they needed it. In the season finale, the Patriots played a conservative game and lost to Miami. The loss cost New England a chance to secure the number one seed. In the last weeks of the season, the Patriots played their worst football of the season. The offensive line continued to play inconsistently by allowing constant pressure to result in unnecessary hits on Brady. The Patriots now must go up against a surging Kansas City team that’s won 11 straight contests, after starting 1-5 on the season.
The Patriots will finally get back number one receiver Julian Edelman and starting left tackle Sebastian Vollmer. Both players will give a much-needed boost to their respective units. Last week, Brady threw for 134 yards on 12 completions. No receiver for New England had more than two receptions. Brady needs Edelman if the passing offense is to succeed. Since Edelman has been out, Brady and the Patriots passing offense has been unable to produce.
A player to watch for the Chiefs this week is Travis Kelce. In their win over the Houston Texans, Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin sustained a knee injury. Maclin is the Chiefs leading receiver. With the possibility that Maclin may be unavailable due to injury, the offensive burden falls to Kelce. On the season, Kelce has 72 catches for 875 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Patriots struggle against larger, more dominant receivers; however, Kelce’s lack of elite speed makes him less of a deep threat than Maclin. If the Patriots minimize Kelce’s impact, then it will be up to Alex Smith to improvise with his feet.
A player to watch for the Patriots this week is Rob Gronkowski. Against the Dolphins, Gronk received seven targets on but only managed to haul in two. Gronk is not at 100% and could be a game time decision. It would be a shock if he does not suit up on Saturday; however, the uncertainty is telling. Brady needs both Edelman and Gronk to beat the Chiefs. When those two guys aren’t in the line, Brady struggles to get the ball out quickly and the Patriots offense stalls.
The Patriots excel at attacking the middle of the field. The Chiefs excel at protecting the middle of the field. This game pits strength against strength and has the makings of an evenly matched, back and forth contest throughout. The Patriots have the advantage of the home field but are coming off a terrible finish to their season that resulted in a 2-4 record over their last six games. The momentum is clearly behind Kansas City. The Chiefs’ offense is effective and patient. The Patriots will need a well rounded effort by all phases of the game to pull out this victory.
Patriots Vs Chiefs Divisional Round Betting Lines
Which Patriots team will show up? The Patriots still have Brady and Belichick and that’s enough to make them an easy favorite in the playoffs. They’ve had so much success it’s hard to pick against them. The Chiefs are an unknown. Their defense is solid and force turnovers in the secondary. They rush four and still get pressure. They play the style of football that give the Patriots fits.They’ll have more than one chance to win this game. Still, it’s Brady Belichick and with reinforcements coming back on offense expect the Patriots to once again put up points.
Play: Patriots -5 @ BetOnline.ag