Chiefs vs Patriots: New England favored despite Kansas City’s record

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 7: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs smiles as he warmed up in the fourth quarter in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won, 30-14. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 7: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs smiles as he warmed up in the fourth quarter in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won, 30-14. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs will head into their Sunday night matchup with the New England Patriots as three and a half point underdogs.

The last time the New England Patriots were a home underdog was in 2014, and they keep that streak alive by being 3.5 point favorites over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday according to Despite the fact the Chiefs are 5-0 and the Patriots are 3-2, it’s not a surprise that the Patriots would be favored.

It’s hard for the public to bet against the Patriots at home in a primetime game against a first-year starting quarterback, even if it’s Patrick Mahomes. The Patriots are 6-1 in their last seven home games against the Chiefs so that history is on their side. Recent history, however, the Chiefs are 3-1 in their last four games against the Patriots, including the Chiefs dismantling them in New England last season.

While the Chiefs should have some confidence going into the game after last season’s game, the Patriots can never be taken lightly. The Patriots are looking like they are at full strength for the first time this season, and that should not only be scary to the Chiefs for this weekend, but for the rest of the league.

Tom Brady didn’t have one of this top targets for the first four games of the season thanks to Julian Edelman’s four-game suspension. Edelman played for the first time last week and was able to knock some rust off so he should back to full strength this week. Josh Gordon was traded to the Patriots following their week two loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. In two games with the Patriots, Gordon has put up 82 yards on four catches and one touchdown. He is getting more and more comfortable with Brady and has the talent and potential to be the best wide receiver Brady has had since Randy Moss.

Mix Edelman and Gordon combined with star tight end Rob Gronkowski and Brady has an amazing group of weapons to take on the Chiefs 32nd ranked pass defense. The Patriots also have a solid running back tandem of veteran James White and rookie first-round draft pick Sony Michael to round out their offensive arsenal. It’s no surprise the national public is expecting big things from the Patriots offense against this Chiefs defense.

To counter this Patriots offense, the Chiefs are bringing in one of the top offenses in football. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is out for weeks with a broken leg, but other than him the offense is very healthy coming into New England. The national media is making this game all about Patrick Mahomes vs Brady and the public is jumping on that narrative with the over/under being listed as 59.5 points.

The thing about battles of two great offense is that the games almost always come down to the defense and special teams. Mahomes and Brady are unstoppable and neither will be shut out, so this game will come down to which defense can get the most stop and which special teams can make a big play.

When it comes to special teams, the Chiefs will have the edge for sure. Dave Toub is arguably the best secondary coach in the NFL and they have weapons at every big position. Harrison Butker has been nails as a field goal kicker since the Chiefs signed him early in 2017. Dustin Colquitt is one of the best punters in the league whether the team needs a bomb to flip field position or a precise kick to pin the team deep in their own end. They also have the most dangerous punt returner in all of football in Tyreek Hill.

The Patriots are not bad at special teams, with kicker Stephen Gostkowski and punter Ryan Allen. Gostkowski is one of the leagues most accurate kickers and has been for years, but that’s at best a wash between Butker and Gostkowski. Allen is a solid punter and gets the job done, but he can’t compete with Colquitt and he’s got to kick to Hill which has been scaring punters into mistakes all season. When it comes to the return game, the Patriots use a returner by committee lineup that just can’t compete with Hill.

Baring a crazy special teams game with multiple scores or turnovers, this game will come down to the defenses. As we all know the Chiefs defense has been getting killed in the world of public opinion all season. Media like 610 sports radio Ron Hughley has been calling the Chiefs defense the worst in the league all season, despite both numbers and game footage disagreeing with them. But they are cheering for their predictions more than actually watching the game and giving honest opinions. We all know this defense isn’t the 1985 Chicago Bears or even top 10 in the NFL today for that matter, but they are not the worst defense in the league.

The Chiefs defensive yards per game stat is 32nd in the league, but that number doesn’t tell you the whole story like how they’ve been playing prevent nearly every fourth quarter this season. The fact is they are one of the best in the league on third down and also within the red zone, which means while they aren’t good, they are good enough. The Patriots defense has been mostly the same this season, playing a bend but don’t break defense.

Both defenses give up lots of yards between the 20’s, but they buckle down in the red zone holding teams to field goals more often than touchdowns. This leads back to the offenses who are both very efficient in the red zone and so it will come down to which defense can do the job. The big difference is the Chiefs are not healthy. Justin Houston, Eric Berry, Armani Watts are all out Sunday. Tanoh Kpassagnon hasn’t practiced this week and it seems unlikely he plays at this point, meaning the Chiefs will be going into Sunday depending a lot on rookie Breeland Speaks. Speaks and Dee Ford will be asked to carry the load alongside newly signed Frank Zombo and Nate Orchard.

The weather for the game should be perfect football weather in the upper mid 50s and no precipitation. I look for this to be a high scoring game that would make me want to throw down hard on the over of 59.5 points. The matchup of two of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL today on a perfect night against two suspect defenses just screams offensive fight.

If the Chiefs defense was as healthy as the unit that started last week’s game, I would for sure be saying to take the Chiefs and the 3.5 points. But the defense is battered and bruised which is not what you want to take into New England on primetime. The question then boils down to one simple one: Can Mahomes outduel Brady?

I think the answer to that question is yes, thanks to the help from head coach Andy Reid. Reid has seemed to have Belichick’s number over the last few seasons and I think he takes it seriously and will be at his best. Mahomes will see this game as a personal challenge to see how good he can do against the best on the national stage.

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I would take the Chiefs and the points if I was looking at this game. It will be a fight to the end and likely the last team with the ball wins and I think this time it’s Mahomes who leads the Chiefs to a last-second field goal to win the game 38-35.