The Patriots Offense Might Be Struggling, but the Chiefs Are Preparing for the Same Old Patriots
Yes, the New England Patriots offense has looked pedestrian over the past three weeks. Yes, their receivers have been the main reason the offense couldn't put a touchdown on the board in the team's Week 13 loss until late in the 3rd quarter. But if you ask the Kansas City Chiefs about New England's offensive woes - they don't expect the Patriots to bring anything but their best on Sunday afternoon.
“I think they’re a team just trying to find their identity,” Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor said to KansasCity.com's Herbie Teope. “When you watch film, you see different variations of things across the board. Some things are working for them, some aren’t, but don’t get it twisted because they’re still the Pats.
“We’re preparing for that same team.”
What same team you ask? The same team that beat the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game last season by a score of 37-31. This season's Patriots squad might be missing one key cog from the AFCCG (i.e. Rob Gronkowski), but other important pieces from that game are still residing in New England, which gives Kansas City reason to believe that this Patriots offense can figure things out and be just as productive as they have been in the past.
“It’s a myth,” Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland said when asked if Brady is declining. “People said the same thing about Aaron Rodgers. He’d have slow starts, and then he’d turn it on. Once you’re a GOAT (greatest of all-time) and you have that GOAT status, at any moment you can turn it on. Brady can hit that switch anytime he’s ready.”
With Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick still part of the Patriots organization, it would be wise for an opposing team to expect New England to flip the switch any any given time. The experience that the top offensive players for the reigning Super Bowl champions have is extensive and hard to find in the NFL, which gives them the ability to make adjustments and figure things out a bit quicker than most teams would.
The Patriots don't have a track record of having struggles on either side of the ball and fixing them this late in the season. However, the hiccups they have been dealing with on offense as of late can be fixed with some diligence by the young, inexperienced receivers in New England and a little bit of wizardry by McDaniels, who has a knack for being creative and getting the best, sometimes more than that, out of his offensive weapons.
New England has not won six championships over the past two decades by doing the same old stuff. They've adjusted to what they have for players and what those players are strong at, which has allowed them to play to their strengths and succeed in the process. That same remedy is still in-tact in 2019, where a group of talented receivers have been a little out of rhythm with their 42-year-old quarterback. That seems like an easier issue to solve than some of the larger problems they have faced in previous years.
So, don't count these Patriots out just yet. When they take on the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Kansas City will be expecting the very best from the home team that aside from a struggling offense still has an elite defense and special teams unit. You should expect the same from them as well.
Have faith in the great offensive minds that work in Foxboro, whether it be the head coach, the offensive coordinator, or the QB. They have what it takes to right the ship and re-surface in Week 14 as the team that started the season 8-0.
“They only lost two games,” Chiefs' safety Juan Thornhill said. “They’re still a pretty good football team.”