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3 Ways the Patriots Can Stop the Chiefs

The New England Patriots are traveling to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs this weekend. This is slated to be one of the toughest matchups for New England this season. Kansas City shut down the high-powered Baltimore offense for much of the game.

Offensive Line

The offensive line needs to be as sharp as they’ve ever been. David Andrews is still on the IR with a thumb injury isn’t the most ideal scenario for the O-line. However, Joe Thuney stepped up into his role last week and the offensive line only gave up 2 sacks. The Chiefs got through and sacked Lamar Jackson four times last week versus Baltimore. The KC defense in the prior 2 weeks totaled for 6 more sacks.

Game Plan

The Patriots cannot abandon the run game. The Chiefs seem to focus on the blitz to the QB, they have given up over 100 yards rushing in every game so far. Two of the three games so far this season, the Patriots have rushed for over 200 yards. If they’re patient, the run game could be beneficial. Last week KC’s defense held Jackson to a mere 70 passing yards. The 2 weeks prior, however, they gave up over 500 yards through the air.
KC has given up 20 points in each of their first 3 games. The Chiefs defense has only 2 intercepted passes and 1 fumble recovery. Cam Newton only has 2 interceptions on the season, NE shouldn’t be afraid to pass the ball when needed. Hopefully, if N’Keal Harry scores an obvious touchdown the refs call it correctly. Okay, that’s enough salt from me!

Defensive Side

The Chiefs offense is hard to contain. Their speed is hard to match for every team. Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Sammy Watkins are Patrick Mahomes’ favorite targets, each with 20+ targets and over 150 yards on the season. Mahomes is also known for his rushing ability. I think the addition of Cam Newton helped the defense’s ability to track a mobile QB. I’m still a little nervous about that because NE’s linebackers are notoriously slow.
Kansas City hasn’t turned the ball over much, just once actually. However, the New England defense is stingy and loves to take the ball away from opposing offenses. I hope they can keep that up. Last week they had 3 fumble recoveries and two passes nearly intercepted. Still, the Patriots defense needs to be tighter, they have taken too many defensive holding and pass interference penalties heading into this weekend.

Final Thoughts

If the Patriots play the way we know the Patriots can, I think the game will be competitive. I am much more confident in this team than I was going into the season. I don’t necessarily think that New England will come out victorious but I do think that this came could be another big moral victory like the Week 2 game against Seattle was. Based on the league rankings on NFL.com it should be a pretty even game. Another thing to watch for is the Chiefs scoring too quickly at the end of the game. In previous matchups, KC has taken a late lead but had left too much time on the clock for New England. As long as there are no snafus on defense causing them to use all of their timeouts early in the second half, there’s a chance for a potential last-minute game-winning drive.

-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)

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