2 AFC heavyweights go at it in Foxborough Sunday night in what could be a preview of the AFC Championship. The Kansas City Chiefs lead the all time series, 18-13-3, but the 2 have split their 6 matchups dating back to 2005.
Undefeated Kansas City is coming off a 30-14 domination of Jacksonville last weekend. They beat San Francisco 37-27 in week 3, and rallied to beat the Denver Broncos 27-23 in week 4.
New England is coming off a long week, beating the Colts 38-24 last Thursday. In week 3, they lost 26-10 to the Detroit Lions, and smoked the Dolphins 38-7 in week 4.
Oddsmakers have the line set at -3 in favor of the Patriots, while the O/U is set at 60.
Kansas City Chiefs
You’ve heard all about Pat Mahomes already, and he continued his dominance against a top unit in Jacksonville last week. Now he didn’t have the touchdown production, but still put together a very solid game, throwing for 313 yards and 2 picks on 22/38 attempts. Kansas City can come at you in a lot of different ways, with Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill all eclipsing 60 yards last week, lead by Kelce’s 100. Kareem Hunt has had 2 excellent games back-to-back, totaling 208 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns over weeks 4 and 5.
After an awful couple weeks, the defense made some plays finally. The front 4 were all over Blake Bortles, totaling 31 pressures and 5 sacks. Breeland Speaks and Dee Ford led the team with 7 pressures a piece. They still allowed over 400 yards passing, but picked off Blake Bortles 4 times.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
EDGE Justin Houston (hamstring) – doubtful, EDGE Tanoh Kpassagnon (ankle) – questionable, G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (lower leg) – Placed on IR
New England Patriots
The Patriots have the unequivocal edge heading into this game as they will have 13 days of rest leading up to the contest Sunday night. The score against the Colts does not reflect the dominance the Patriots instilled early in the game. Tom Brady threw for 341 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions on 34/44 passing. Brady leaned on his outlet out of the backfield in James White, who caught 10 balls for 77 yards and a TD.
The Patriots got big contributions from Rob Gronkowski and Josh Gordon as well as Julian Edelman in his return. Sony Michel has had big games in consecutive weeks, totaling 112 and 98 yards in each of his last 2 games.
Adrian Clayborn had another strong showing last week, totaling 6 QB hurries on 6 pressures. He does not have a sack on the season, but has shown he can be a disruptor opposite Trey Flowers. Jonathan Jones and Patrick Chung each had interceptions, while Stephon Gilmore allowed just 1 catch on 5 targets for just 12 yards.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) – questionable, WR Chris Hogan (thigh) – questionable, CB Eric Rowe (groin) – questionable
This should be a fun one for a primetime game, which have felt lacking in entertainment value this season. The over/under is almost at 60, which is absurd for an NFL game, and I’m thinking that could happen with 2 teams that can really air it out and feature not so great defenses.
The Mahomes show should be in full swing against New England’s defense that really lacks a difference maker up front, allowing Mahomes to sit behind his O line and really pick apart the Patriots defense. There is not a single person on New England’s D that can match Tyreek Hill’s long speed, so expect some deep shots mixed in.
Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels should be able to dissect KCs lackluster D. Kansas City’s coverage has really struggled, and New England is now at full force in their receiving corp. I could see a big game from Julian Edelman nickel and diming the Chiefs defense down the field.
The Patriots can also ride Sony Michel against a bad KC run defense. Teams have to try to do everything they can to keep Mahomes off the field, and the Patriots have the coaching and the roster to make that happen. Foxborough is a tough place to play for any team, and I believe in New England’s coaching staff to find a way to stifle Mahomes just enough. We are taking the Patriots at home to cover, and also making a small play on the over here, as I do believe this will be a shootout somewhere in the realm of 37-31. I’ve seen the O/U as low as 59, and we would jump on that.
Final Pick: Patriots (-3) and OVER 60