The Patriots are coming off of one of the ugliest games they’ve played all season. The offense couldn’t move the ball if their life depended on it. The defense stood up pretty tall to a very good offense, but they were on the field so often there was not much more that they could do. They face another tough opponent in the Chiefs, and this is now a must win situation to hold onto a first round bye.
The offense has been a gigantic weakness since the bye week. Whether the young receivers aren’t getting it, or Brady is refusing to give them a chance, something has got to change. The offensive line has looked much better with Isaiah Wynn back in the lineup, and is no longer an excuse. Ted Karras will be out though, which makes this a great game to ground and pound against a bad Chiefs run defense. An early combination of Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead should play a huge role in this one. James White ran the ball very well last week as well out of the shotgun, and should be able to do the same this week. Brady leads the league in pass attempts this season, and they need to take that load off of his shoulders if they want to win games.
The Chiefs look much more containable this season than they did last year. Sammy Watkins has been a non factor, and Tyreek Hill hasn’t been consistently healthy. Even with his veterans not performing, Mahomes doesn’t seem to complain about throwing to inexperienced receivers like another quarterback I know. With so many receivers to throw to, it would be very helpful to have a fully healthy secondary in this game. That has been the Patriots biggest strength all season. If Jason McCourty comes back, and Pat Chung can be healthy enough to help lock up on Travis Kelce like he has in past games, it would be a huge difference maker. Jonathan Jones had a rough game last week, causing penalties and getting beat on a big score. He needs to step up or he is going to get replaced by JC Jackson and rookie JoeJuan Williams. The running game has not been much for KC this season, with an aged Shady McCoy and Damien Williams has not performed to expectation. The guy that might get the Pats is Demarcus Robinson. He has been quiet over the past couple weeks, and they do such a good job of taking away their most talented players that he might sneak in a few scores.
This is going to be a tough one, but they need it now more than ever. Some big special teams plays should help them win this one, 38-34.
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-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)