This Sunday, the Chiefs (3-0) will host the New England Patriots (2-1) at 3:25 on CBS. It will be the fourth time since Patrick Mahomes became the Chiefs starter in 2018 that the teams have met. The Patriots won both matchups back in 2018 while the Chiefs won in New England late in the season a year ago.
While many believed that the Patriots would crumble without Tom Brady at the helm, a rejuvenated Cam Newton has come on board and Bill Belichick is getting the most out of his new weapon.
After watching the Chiefs successfully bottle up Lamar Jackson and the Ravens powerful rushing attack, it will be interesting to see how a depleted secondary fares against a quarterback with almost equal mobility and with better quarterback sensibilities.
5 reasons the Chiefs will beat the Patriots on Sunday
- The Patriots defense is good, but not 2019 good. After boasting the #1 defense in the NFL in 2019, the Patriots are not quite playing up to that so far this year. Through three games, they have given up an average of 355 yards per game (which is actually three more ypg than the Chiefs defense has averaged). Could opt-outs like Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung be having an impact? The Chiefs moved the ball with relative ease against the Ravens, totalling over 500 total yards which is a good sign they can keep that momentum going on Sunday.
- The Patriots front may struggle to get pressure. We saw what happened when Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa pressured Mahomes without the Chargers having to blitz. The Ravens were not so fortunate and Mahomes beat the blitz over and over. The Patriots will not blitz Mahomes blindly like the Ravens did, but I’m not sure they can get consistent pressure without doing so. Guys like Chase Winovich can cause some problems from the weakside LB position but no one else really scares you at this point.
- Vegas REALLY likes the Chiefs. Kansas City opened as a seven point favorite in this game. Conventional wisdom says it may not be smart to give a guy like Bill Belichick seven points for any reason. Is it an overreaction to the Chiefs’ dominant win against Baltimore or does Vegas really not respect the Patriots in this situation?
- Mahomes has proven he can win games when he has to be patient. The Patriots are going to attempt to take away the big play threat of Tyreek Hill and will likely not leave Travis Kelce wide open in the middle of the field like other teams do when trying to slow down these receivers. The Chargers game showed what can happen when the Chiefs are struggling to make big plays in the passing game. Patrick Mahomes will likely frustrate the Patriots the same way he did the Chargers in the second half of that game. Look for him to pick up timely first downs with his legs and to take the check-downs and dink-and-dunks that the defense allows.
- The rolls have seemingly reversed. Bill Belichick created one of the NFL’s greatest dynasties in New England with quarterback Tom Brady. He is one of the greatest coaches of all time and it’s clear the Patriots are still very much a threat. But there’s an intangible occurring here. The Chiefs finally got over the hurdle and won a Super Bowl and are now sitting at the top of the mountain. New England is doing a great job staying relevant despite losing their incumbent QB Tom Brady but the Chiefs haven’t lost a football game since November 10th of 2019. The Chiefs are at home, favored, and riding a wave of unprecedented momentum.
Prediction: Chiefs 27 Patriots 20