Sunday, October 22nd
New England Patriots (4-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
Two of the leagues best face off in Week 7 for what should be an exciting game. This could well be a preview of a potential playoff matchup between these two teams, with the Bills having a bye week, this is a big game for the Pats to put some pressure on the Bills.
Patriots Run Offense versus Chiefs Run Defense
The Patriots 13th ranked run offense go up against the Chiefs 5th ranked run defense. Jamaal Charles is the Pats starter and has struggled these last two weeks after two impressive performances the two previous weeks. The Patriots have a young offensive line but two very talented linemen at the LG and LT positions in Jackson and Solder, it is surprising that the Pats have only ran to their left (the strength of their line) 7% of their total carries. They have their best average per rush however when running to the left. The Pats should look to take advantage of this strength and focus more runs here. The Chiefs have been solid against the run but DT Amir is a game time decision for the Chiefs and will be a big loss for the Chiefs if he can’t play.
Chiefs Run Offense versus Patriots Run Defense
There are only 2 teams in the league that run the ball less than the Chiefs, they go up against a team that is average at stopping the run so far this season. The Chiefs have a very talented rookie RB in Brennan who is averaging just over 5 yards per carry. The Chiefs could have success running the ball against this Pats D if they hand the ball to Brennan more than they have to this point. Brennan does not have the greatest line in front of him, so they have to rely on the talent of Brennan to be successful. The Pats have a good Defensive Line but very weak Linebackers, if Brennan can use some of that elusive talent he has he could get some big gains against the Pats.
Patriots Pass Offense versus Chiefs Pass Defense
The Patriots go into this game with starting QB Carr as Questionable, I don’t believe the injury is enough to sideline him which is great news for the Patriots. The Passing game will feature TE Gronkowski and WR Edelman who will get the majority of targets. TE Gronkowski is a big threat to any Defense, he can take the short pass and take it deep and can also be a big play threat by running the deep routes. Tough to double team either one of Gronk or Edelman because you then leave either Wright or Whalen open who have impressed so far. The Patriots Oline protects the QB well with Solder protecting the blind side very well as one of the best LT in the SSG. On paper the Chiefs have a very talented secondary, it just has not showed up on the field yet as they rank 32nd in the league.
Chiefs Pass Offense versus Patriots Pass Defense
The Chiefs have are one of the best short passing teams in the league, they struggle to throw the ball deep though. WR Maclin is having a great season, leading the team with 424 yards and has caught 36 of the 46 targeted passes to him. Young Wideout Conley has surprisingly not featured much in the last two games and will need to get him involved more if they are to be successful. Otherwise, the Pats can focus on Maclin and try to eliminate him. The Chiefs have a talented Tight End in Kelce. The Chiefs go up against one of the if not the best pass Defense so far this season. They have overcome injuries and have seen rookie McCormick really emerge into a solid starting corner. They have been strong against the short passing game and exceptional at covering the deep pass.
I think the running game will be the key to victory in this game. Each of these teams have struggled to run the ball with any consistency so far. I think rookie Running Back Brennan will be the key to this game, if he can exploit the week run defense of the Patriots I like the Chiefs to win this game.
New England Patriots 20 Kansas City Chiefs 23