NFL AFC Final 2019: New England Patriots @ Chiefs Preview

January 14, 2019 by Ryan Knuppel

American Football Conference ChampionshipThe #2 seed Patriots travel to take on the #1 seed Chiefs in Kansas City after both had dominant wins in the Divisional round. The Chiefs lead the all time series 18-15-3, but the Patriots defeated the Chiefs 43-40 in October of this season.

The Patriots thoroughly handled the #5 seed Chargers on Sunday, winning 41-28 after their first round bye. In week 16, they beat the Bills 24-12 and in week 17 they beat the Jets 38-3.

The Chiefs shut down the #6 seed Colts on Saturday with a 31-13 win after their first round bye. In week 16, they lost 38-31 to the Seahawks, and in week 17 they beat the Raiders 35-3.

The Chiefs have opened as 3 point favourites at home with an O/U total of 57.5, per Bovada.

New England Patriots

(12-5 overall, 3-5 on the road)

The Patriots offense dominated Sunday by using a multifaceted rushing attack combined with the nickel and diming of Tom Brady. Brady has had a quieter year, but has still been excellent, throwing for 4698 yards, 30 TDs, and 11 INTs while completing 65.8% of his passes and averaging 7.6 YPA. Julian Edelman (83/1001/6) and James White (102/848/7) have been awesome, while Rob Gronkowski (48/707/3), Chris Hogan (38/545/3), and Phillip Dorsett (36/331/4) have been reliable as well. On the ground, Sony Michel has been the lead guy, carrying 233 times for 1060 yards and 9 TDs. James White (94/425/5) and Rex Burkhead (61/198/1) are solid rotational pieces as well.

The Patriots regular season scoring defense ranked 7th, allowing 20.3 PPG. Their passing defense ranked 22nd allowing 246.4 yards per game and 29 TDs while their pass rush ranked t-30th with 30 sacks. Their rushing defense ranked 11th, allowing 112.7 yards per game and 7 TDs on the ground. New England’s defense forced 28 turnovers, and as a team they owned a +10 turnover differential.

Injuries and Inactive Watch

Check tomorrow’s news article

Kansas City Chiefs

(13-4 overall, 8-1 at home)

The Chiefs offense didn’t dominate on Saturday, but they certainly didn’t have to as the Chiefs defense came to play. Pat Mahomes has been off the charts this season, throwing for 5375 yards, 50 TDs and 12 INTs while completing 66% of his passes and averaging 8.7 YPA. Travis Kelce has been dominant over the middle of the field, catching 110 balls for 1444 yards and 10 TDs, while Tyreek Hill has been a dynamic downfield threat, catching 95 balls for 1551 yards and 12 TDs. Sammy Watkins (46/581/3) is now back in the fold, and Damien Williams (28/185/2) and Demarcus Robinson (22/288/4) are threats as well. On the ground, Damien Williams has established himself as a legit starter in the league with 75 carries for 385 yards and 5 TDs, mostly over these past few weeks.

The Chiefs regular season scoring defense ranked 24th, allowing 26.3 PPG. Their passing defense ranked 31st, allowing 273.4 yards per game and 30 TDs through the air while their pass rush ranked t-1st with 52 sacks. Their rushing defense ranked 27th allowing 132.1 yards per game and 19 TDs on the ground. The Chiefs defense forced 27 turnovers, and as a team they owned a +9 turnover differential.

Injuries and Inactive Watch

Check tomorrow’s news article

Predictions

Two dominant teams meet in the AFC Championship game and it should be fun. The high on Sunday in Kansas City as of now is 17 degrees, and that could play perfectly to the Patriots. Their new smashmouth style and experience in cold weather could keep the Chiefs on the sideline as the Pats stay ahead of the chains with their rotation of backs and quick passing attack. The Chiefs defense stepped up big time last week, but they’re facing a completely different beast in the Patriots. The Chiefs pass rush poses an interesting threat, but the Pats offensive line should be up to the challenge.

The Chiefs offense is unreal, and we know how quickly they can get up and down the field. However, the Patriots have the best coach in NFL history in Bill Belichick, and he isn’t going to let Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce dominate him again. Their run defense is sufficient enough to force the Chiefs into 3rd and long, and their contain style of pass rush will help to contain Mahomes in the pocket. Belichick’s gameplanning, especially in the postseason, is going to be the difference maker here and he won’t be denied another chance at a Super Bowl ring.

Final Pick: Patriots (+3)

Ryan Knuppel

Ryan Knuppel Author

Ryan (aka Knup) has been writing sports betting content for over a decade now. He covers anything and everything related to United Stats sports including football, basketball, baseball, golf and more. He has finished first place in several gambling related contests over the years which gives him instant credibility in the betting world. Ryan is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan that currently resides in sunny Orlando, Florida.

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