Great googily moogily indeed.
On Monday night, the New England Patriots will visit Kansas City, where they have played only 14 times in franchise history.
They’ve won three times.
OK, yes, that’s a misleading statistic for sure. The Chiefs hold an all-time 16-13-3 edge on the Pats, but Monday will mark only the seventh meeting between the two clubs since Bill Belichick took over the Patriots in 2000. New England is 5-1 over that span, including a 1-1 record at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs have their record against the Patriots padded with a nifty 10-5-3 mark against the Boston Patriots from 1960-70 when both were AFL franchises.
So, there’s some good news. The bad has a bit more modern-day relevance.
Through the first three games, the Chiefs have amassed nine sacks. That’s only two shy of the NFL-lead of 11, held by the Redskins, who somehow sacked New York quarterback Eli Manning once on Thursday night in the midst of getting their defensive doors blown off. You don’t have to be reminded that the much-beleaguered New England offensive line has allowed seven sacks this season to go along with 15 hits on the quarterback.
Four of those sacks came in Week One against the Miami Dolphins, who beat the Patriots in part thanks to a strong running attack from Knoshown Moreno and Lamar Miller. Enter Monday, when the Chiefs counter with Jamaal Charles (if healthy) and Knile Davis to bolster their offensive attack with a strong presence on the defensive line, and it’s possible we could be looking at a déjà vu game in Kansas City.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked on Thursday what he thought of the Patriots offensive line so far.
“I’m not here to comment on that,” he said. “They’re doing a nice job.”
OK, now we know he’s lying.
Who they're picking
Our roundup of picks for Monday's Patriots-Chiefs game.
ESPN.com staff: Eight out of 13 pick the Patriots.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Patriots 23, Chiefs 20. “Tom Brady and the Pats’ offense are still trying to find their stride, and I give K-City a major upset shot on a stage (Monday Night Football) that tends to magnify home-field advantage. But I still trust Brady, who is 219 pass-yards from being the sixth man to 50,000. The wild card in this pick is Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, whose availability could be a game-time call. Even with him, KC is not nearly as good as Miami made it appear last week, but just good enough to sneak inside the betting line.”
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: Patriots 23, Chiefs 16. “The Patriots have struggled on offense without a deep threat. They are last in yards per play in the league. But I think they get the running game going against a Chiefs defense that is 28th in rush yards per play. Tom Brady will also hit some play-action chucks to Rob Gronkowski. Patriots take it.”
CBSSports.com staff: Five out of eight pick Kansas City (Patriots by 3 1/2).
Yahoo sports: All Pats.
USA Today staff: Pats across the board.
Foxsports.com staff: Five out of seven pick the Chiefs.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Chiefs 20, Patriots 17. “The Patriots are averaging fewer yards per play than any team in the NFL. The Chiefs, perhaps too complacent in Week One against the Titans, will be buoyed by a raucous home crowd in prime time. Step one: Put heat on Tom Brady. Step two: Play ball-control offense. Step three: Win.”
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk: Patriots 28, Chiefs 20. “Tom Brady is off to a bad start and on pace for career lows in passer rating, completion percentage and touchdowns. Fortunately for Brady, the injury-plagued Chiefs defense isn’t very good. Brady should put up better numbers in Kansas City.”
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Chiefs 23, Patriots 20. “The Chiefs just won in Miami, where the Patriots lost in Week 1. The reasoning behind this pick, however, isn’t the transitive property. It’s that New England isn’t quite New England with Tom Brady and the offense having some surprising limitations tied to shaky line play. The Chiefs haven’t been good up front, either, but they’re starting to find ways to make up for injuries on both sides. Give the assist to the Arrowhead night crowd to steal this one.”
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: Patriots 24, Chiefs 23. “Here's your stat of the day, and it's a big reason New England will have to run the rock: Tom Brady has attempted 17 passes that have traveled more than 20 yards in the air -- and he's completed one. Wow. Kansas City's defense, meanwhile, has given up just five passing plays of 20-plus yards, tied for least in the NFL. So if you like 5-yard ins and none-yard outs, this is the game for YOU.”
NFL.com staff: Four out of five like the Pats.
Neil Greenburg, Washington Post: Win probability: Kansas City 51.7 percent. “New England quarterback Tom Brady has looked awful because his offensive line is awful. The Patriots have allowed Brady to be pressured a league-high 44 times (six sacks, 10 hits and 28 hurries) while the running game has yielded just 3.5 yards per carry. Kansas City, on the other hand, has the third-best pass rush in the game.”
Boston Globe staff: Four out of six pick the Chiefs (Patriots by 3 1/2).
It says here: Patriots 27, Chiefs 13. Patriots defense wins the night.
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