We have another exciting AFC matchup on our hands this week as the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs host the 2-1 New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium (4:25pm ET Sunday, live on CBS). This could be a future playoff preview the way these two teams are playing to start the year.
The Patriots and Chiefs are both coming off convincing victories in week three. New England handled the Raiders by 16 and covered comfortably while the Chiefs won outright as 3.5-point underdogs in Baltimore.
Kansas City had arguably the most impressive victory on the year thus far as they beat the Ravens by 14 points and held them to 20 points. Patrick Mahomes shredded the Ravens with ease.
Can the Patriots’ Defense Keep up?
Patrick Mahomes looks to be not only the best quarterback in the NFL this season, but also one of the best that we have seen in recent memory. Some of the throws he made against the Ravens defense were unbelievable to watch and left us all in awe. This is the same Ravens defense that gave up only 22 total points and 464 yards passing through two games. Mahomes alone threw for 385 yards, four touchdowns, and the Chiefs amassed 34 total points.
The Patriots secondary have played well over the first three games and rank 11th in the NFL with 235.3 passing yards per game. Last week they gave up 261 yards and two touchdowns through the air to David Carr. While the secondary has done well the pass rush has struggled so far this season. They have only managed to average 1.7 sacks per game. That lack of pressure will not work against a strong Kansas City offensive line and the always-versatile Mahomes.
In comparison, the Chiefs rank first in the NFL in sacks allowed per game by only giving up .7 sacks per game. Mahomes has only been sacked two times on the season and zero times last week by a tenacious Ravens team. Before recording zero sacks last week the Ravens had six through two games. Expect the Chiefs to be able to protect Mahomes and give him plenty of time to find one of his many playmakers. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is tied for fourth in the NFL with three receiving touchdowns through the first three weeks.
The players who decided to opt out of the season over COVID concerns have impacted the Patriots’ defense. They have been without starting safety Patrick Chung and starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower. The Patriots average points allowed per game (22.0) is strong and ranks 11th in the NFL, but it is also a bit skewed after playing the lowly Dolphins in week one. Against the Seahawks, in week two, Russ Wilson and co were able to put up 35 points and allowed 30 to cover the over comfortably.
The Patriots lack of a pass rush is going to allow Mahomes to stand back in the pocket and pick the secondary apart, despite having one of the best defenders on the field in cornerback Stephon Gilmore. I think the Chiefs will be able to handle their business easily and put up enough points to help cover a high total of around 52.5 points with the top-tier Stateside online bookies, but will the Patriots offense be able to keep up?
In their first year with Cam Newton under center, the Patriots’ offense has been strong. Many expected them to struggle with the lack of a traditional offseason to prepare and install a new offense for Newton and his rushing prowess. If anyone was up to the challenge it was head coach Bill Belichik. The Patriots are ranked 11th in the league in scoring, averaging 29.0 points per game through three. Their strength comes on the ground where they lead the league in rushing yards per game with 178.0. Newton is second on the team with 149 yards rushing and first with four rushing touchdowns. He has helped them establish as a strong presence on the ground and find a new identity with Tom Brady taking his talents south to Tampa in the offseason.
I expect the Patriots to move the ball on the ground against a Chiefs defense that struggles to defend the run. The Chiefs rank 27th in the league giving up 153.0 rushing yards per game. I think Newton and the Patriots will rely heavily on the run game which should open up the field a bit to make some plays in the passing game. They will be able to score some points and keep the game close.
Our Preview’s New England Patriots vs Kansas City Chiefs Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
USAbetting is going to be riding with the Chiefs as -6.5 or -7pts home favorites and will be taking the over despite a bit higher of a total at 52.5pts. The seven-point spread is a bit high on first glance but the Chiefs can truly be that dominant. The Chiefs are 5-0 against the spread in their last five home games.
I think the Patriots will be able to move the ball on the ground with success, but eventually you will have to attempt to counter the high-flying Chiefs offense. We saw the Ravens struggle to run the ball on Monday and they had to resort to going through the air. I think ultimately the Chiefs will be able to put some distance between them late to cover and both teams will help to hit the over. The total has gone over in five of the last six games that the Patriots and Chiefs have played against each other. So to summarize, these are the picks for this preview and our New England Patriots vs Kansas City Chiefs predictions: