For the second week in a row, the Chiefs will be playing for a potential bye week and the first seed in the AFC. The New England Patriots have a formula for winning and the Chiefs must disrupt it this week.
Happy Red Friday Chiefs Kingdom!! For the second week in a row, the Chiefs will be in a key matchup that will have significant implications on the outcome of the season, as well as playoff seeding. New England head to town two and one coming off of a big win over the Las Vegas Raiders. This week will be another battle for the Chiefs, but here are the three keys to victory over the Patriots.
Win The Turnover Battle
Currently, the New England Patriots rank second in the NFL in turnover differential at +4. They have intercepted four passes and taken away three fumbles this year, which at ties them for the most total takeaways with the Browns. The Chiefs rank tenth in differential at +2. Two interceptions and a fumble combined with Darwin Thompson’s fumble last week make up this stat. The Patriots have feasted for two decades off of other teams mistakes so the Chiefs will have to be hyper careful with the ball this week.
That being said, Patriots Quarterback Cam Newton has thrown two interceptions this year so for the Chiefs to win they will need to try to get him to throw one up and go after the ball when they can.
Win Special Teams
In last year’s contest vs the New England Patriots, the game came down largely to a special teams play in the first half, that largely sparked the Chiefs.
This was easily the most impactful play of Tanoh Kpassagnon’s career thus far. This play was huge to the outcome of the game, but the Patriots would get their own special teams momentum lift early in the second half.
Special teams are one of the biggest changers of momentum in football, and as we saw this past week when the Chiefs gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown it changed the entire outlook of the game. The Patriots WILL take advantage of special teams miscue if given the chance. Dave Toub’s unit will need to be sharp this week.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Mecole Hardman Must Have Big Games
The beautiful part of the Chiefs offense is there is only so much that can be done to stop it. There are only so many options that can be taken away. In the past, we have seen Bill Belichick do a masterful job of taking away either Travis Kelce on underneath routes or Tyreek Hill on deep routes. Last year he found a way to do both for large portions of the game. That’s where the Chiefs newest weapon of 2019 stepped in.
They could take away Hill and Kelce for only so long but Mecole Hardman and his elite speed were able to get open for Patrick Mahomes to throw the deep ball. This year the Patriots will likely make it hard to get any deep balls off for the receiving core given how many the Chiefs have hit on the last two weeks.
This idea is to defend the Chiefs basic offensive concept of speed and deep shots. They will allow Travis Kelce to crush them underneath in order to keep the game close, but the Chiefs have another factor in their offense. Something that they used to put up two big offensive showings in 2017 and 2018 against the Patriots. A pass-catching, tackle-breaking running back.
Kareem Hunt was the X factor for the Chiefs offense in two games vs New Engalnd where the Chiefs put up big numbers. In the 2018 AFCCG and 2019 regular season game the Chiefs didn’t look near as explosive on offense. Now the Chiefs have one more weapon at running back, and even though he is a rookie he is making plays like an NFL veteran already.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has looked good in three starts, showing off elite vision and contact balance. He has also shown off the ability to be elite in not only the run game but also the passing game. The combination of Hardman and Edwards-Helaire could be the straw that breaks the backs of the Patriots defense.
When the Patriots sell out to stop the Chiefs veteran stars Patrick Mahomes can rest easy knowing that the Chiefs young budding talent will be ready and waiting in Andy Reid’s bag of tricks. Sunday is going to be fun.