3 Keys to a Patriots Victory in Week 14 vs. Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are coming into Foxboro at a time when the New England Patriots are at their most vulnerable. Usually, when the Patriots have their backs against the wall that is when they come out and play their best. But what can the Patriots do to help secure a victory? Let’s break it down it down with three keys that should help them come out with a win in Week 14.
1) Slowing down Patrick Mahomes
If any team can say they have had some success vs. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it’s the New England Patriots. Mahomes was 0-2 against New England last season and was held scoreless in the first half of last season’s AFC Championship game. It is tough to hold Mahomes down for a full game. Mahomes is the Stephen Curry of the NFL. Curry can explode for points in a short period of time and it doesn’t take many plays for Mahomes and explosive KC offense to put points on the board either.
Mahomes is same mold of quarterback as Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson as they’re young, athletic, and have big arms that can throw the ball downfield. A problem that the Patriots had vs. the Texans in Week 13 was when pass rushers would get too far upfield, which allowed Watson to get outside the pocket for a big play. A point of emphasis this week should be to contain Mahomes in the pocket and trust the tremendous secondary to cover the Chiefs’ receivers. If Mahomes gets out of the pocket and scrambles on broken plays, then it could be a long night for the Patriots.
2) Shutting Down Tyreek Hill
Mahomes and Kansas City head coach Andy Reid have one of the fastest players in NFL history at their disposal in wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Hill is a weapon that can be placed all over the field. The Chiefs like to sometimes start Hill in the backfield and will put him through a variety of motions to either free him up or free up other players like tight end Travis Kelce in space.
In the October matchup between the two teams last season, Hill had seven catches for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns. The AFC Championship game was a different story, however, as Hill only had one catch and was a non-factor. The difference between that game and the one in October was that Hill was double-teamed most of the game in January. Look for New England to use a similar game plan this week.
3) The Other Guys Stepping Up
We all know the trust that Tom Brady has in Julian Edelman and James White, but it is time for the other players to step up. Namely it is time for Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett to step up, make plays and get open for Brady. It is asking a lot for rookies like Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry to contribute at this point in the season, but Sanu and Dorsett are battle tested veterans and they should not be having the mental lapses like they had last game.
The Texans set the blueprint for the rest of the NFL. Double Edelman and cover White with a cornerback. Sanu is going to most likely have a third or fourth cornerback covering him, so it is up to him to win his individual matchup. The playoffs are on the horizon and it is time to start playing like it on the offensive side of the football.
Whenever the Patriots and Chiefs meet up it is always an exciting game, so expect much of the same this Sunday at 4:25 p.m