The New England Patriots will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend in what should be a classic AFC showdown. The Patriots came out red-hot this season, but they’ve cooled off the last month. They’ve lost two of their last four games, including last week to the Texans. They come into play at 10-2. The 8-4 Chiefs blew the Raiders out a week ago, 40-9, but they’ve lost two of their last five, to the Packers and Titans.
As is standard for the Patriots, they are favored in the matchup, in this case, by three points, but it seems to me that the spread should be the other way around. Even with the New England defense playing at home, the Chiefs have outplayed the Patriots in recent weeks. Nonetheless, the Patriots are favored by three, with an over/under 49.
Since the return of Patrick Mahomes in Week 10, he’s thrown for 805 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception over three games. Kansas City is 2-1 in those three contests. The Chiefs offense ranks third in the NFL behind the Ravens and Niners. They put up 29 points and 384.7 yards per game. Mahomes has only thrown two picks all season.
The Chiefs running game and their defense have been the flaw this season. Their defense ranks 16th in the league, allowing 22.1 points per game. Their rushing attack ranks 24th in the NFL, averaging 94.5 yards per game. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a young quarterback leading the league’s third-best passing attack. Let’s see what Mahomes can do against Tom Brady on Brady’s turf Sunday.
Father Time is Undefeated
I’m sure it’s not the case, but as of late, Brady has actually looked every bit of his age and declining. The Patriots haven’t exactly been steady at receiver this season with guys banged up and new guys in and out. Plus without Rob Gronkowski out there this season, Brady’s receivers suddenly just aren’t as open. So all of it can’t fall onto Brady’s shoulders, even if that’s what Brady wants you to believe in his postgame pressers.
The Patriots’ defense, on the other hand, has been fantastic. They rank first in the NFL, only allowing 12 points per game. They only allow 163.5 passing yards per game, good for third in the league. The Patriots give up 94.5 rushing yards per game, and only 77.6 yards at home, which is tops in the league. There really isn’t much the defense doesn’t do well.
Forcing A Pick
The non-risk takers will stay away from this game, and for good reason. Tight spread, two good teams, anything could happen. Both teams are 7-5 against the spread so far. The Pats are 3-2 against the spread at home, while the Chiefs are 3-2 against the spread on the road, so that tells us nothing. You have to go with gut feelings this Sunday. Will the Patriots offense score enough to keep up with Mahomes facing their defense? I believe the answer is yes, the Patriots win and cover the spread. Never bet against Brady, especially at home.