Patriots Vs Chiefs Preview
Patriots Vs Chiefs- New England will be looking to replicate the pressure it exerted on Mahomes last season and forced a fumble in the third quarter, but the team lost 23-16. Mahomes has proven to be a tough opponent, and Adrian Phillips will have to prove he can slow him down. As a former Charger, Phillips knows what it takes to disrupt Mahomes’ game plan.
New England quarterback Brian Hoyer tested positive for COVID-19
After a positive test for the bacterial infection COVID-19, New England quarterback Brian Hoyer was put on reserve. He is now expected to return to action before Sunday’s game, but his vaccination status remains a mystery. If he is unvaccinated, he would be forced to stay out of the game for at least 10 days. However, he could still return to action before the Sunday game, since the disease isn’t contagious and doesn’t cause any immediate harm.
The Patriots were quick to blame the absence of Cam Newton for the situation. Newton was diagnosed with COVID-19 the night before the Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. But the team decided to play Hoyer anyway. In fact, Hoyer sacked Newton in the first half and fumbled away a chance to take the lead from the Chiefs’ 10-yard line late in the third quarter.
As the Patriots try to figure out the best way to deal with the situation, the team has made one change. Instead of moving Harry to IR, they will move receiver N’Keal Harry to short-term injured reserve. Harry suffered a shoulder injury during the second preseason game, and if he doesn’t make it back, Hoyer will return as backup quarterback.
After the announcement that Newton will not play the game, the Patriots stocked up on veterans before OTAs. The quarterback spent two stints with the team after being undrafted in 2009.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has struggled to find the end zone
The Chiefs’ offense has struggled to find the end zone, but it’s no surprise considering Patrick Mahomes’ elusiveness and confidence to hit home runs on every play. But his struggles have also been attributed to his shaky accuracy and inability to throw the ball downfield. While Mahomes has had a tough time finding the end zone this season, he has made strides to improve.
During the first half of Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Chiefs’ offense had a rough start. Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions and failed to find the end zone, leading the league with nine picks. He was unable to connect with Kelce, who had a wide open field, on a red-zone laser. As a result, the Chiefs gave the Bengals optimum field position and a chance to win the game with a field goal kick. Despite a rocky start, Mahomes is now in the thick of the battle with the Chiefs.
Mahomes struggled to find his receivers in the red zone, despite generating 83 yards in the second half. But the quarterback couldn’t find the end zone, as he was sacked twice and lost a fumble. The Bengals went on to win the game on a field goal in overtime, forcing the Chiefs to settle for a field goal.
After four games in which he lost to Tom Brady, Kansas City had another chance to win the Super Bowl. But in the two previous games, he lost to Tom Brady in both the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl LV. It seems that his elusiveness in finding the end zone has been a hindrance to his chances of reaching the Super Bowl. However, despite his lack of success, the Chiefs were still able to win their third consecutive championship game.
New England’s running backs struggled against Mahomes
The Patriots’ offense relied heavily on its running game to start the game, but that didn’t work very well against Mahomes. It didn’t have much success early on, and they couldn’t sustain drives. But in the second half, the Patriots continued to go for the throat. In the fourth quarter, they faced fourth-and-2 on the Chargers’ 16-yard line and were within field goal range. However, Belichick kept the offense on the field and Sony Michel rushed up the gut for seven yards.
The Patriots defense has a tough time stopping Mahomes this season, but it has gotten better with every game. Andy Reid’s running backs have been struggling to keep up with Mahomes, and New England’s offensive line is finally getting more experienced at containing Kansas City. In the end, this is the game that will decide the AFC. So, what should the Patriots do?
The Patriots’ defense relies on pressure and containing explosive opponents. The Chiefs’ offense ran effectively against the Patriots last year and in 2014, so containing Mahomes has been key. New England focused their game plan on containing Mahomes’ explosive personnel. But this strategy didn’t work very well. The Chiefs had to pass more often than the Patriots did.
While the Patriots won the first matchup, the Chiefs won the game in the AFC championship, thanks to a critical offsides penalty on Eagles linebacker Dee Ford. While the Patriots were on a six-game winning streak, their defense didn’t do much to stop Mahomes. And the Titans’ running backs will have a tough time stopping Mahomes against the Patriots.
New England’s defense holds Mahomes to his second-lowest passer rating of any opponent
It’s not just the offense. The Patriots’ defense is a dynasty. The Pats’ defense has never finished first in the league in the Defensive RAP rankings, and this year is no exception. The Patriots have a stellar secondary, led by Stephon Gilmore, who is the reigning defensive player of the year. The secondary is deep as well, featuring the McCourty twins, Adrian Phillips and J.C. Jackson. While Patrick Chung opted out of the season, New England’s secondary forced 36 turnovers, and had the second-most interceptions in the league.
The Patriots’ defense has held Mahomes to his second-lowest total passer rating of any opponent, and the Chiefs showed their elite status last week. Still, Mahomes remains a quality quarterback, and the Patriots’ defense has held him to his second-lowest passer rating of any opponent. If the Chiefs want to win, they’ll have to rely on their ground game.
The Chiefs’ offense has been stellar in recent weeks, but Patrick Mahomes is a different story. Despite the dynasty surrounding Patrick Mahomes, this young quarterback has already faced every team in the league. He’s a prime candidate to be the next unanimous MVP. However, the competition between the two was lacking early on. In Week 5 of last season, Mahomes posted a QBR of 52.6. He passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns, but threw four interceptions.
The Chiefs’ recent winning streak has led many to proclaim that Mahomes is “back.” The Chiefs are coming off a 48-9 win over the Raiders, and their last three games against the Patriots have been wins. In his other three games, Mahomes has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in just one game. Those numbers aren’t translating into wins for the Chargers. They’re 0-4 with Mahomes behind center.
New England’s running backs struggle against Thornhill
In college, Thornhill played safety and cornerback, but the Chiefs moved him closer to the line of scrimmage this season. Though his height isn’t as impressive as many of his peers, his explosiveness and long speed can disrupt sideline-to-sideline routes. Thornhill’s broad jump is 11 feet, 9 inches, and his vertical is 44 inches. Although Thornhill doesn’t have the best range of any running back, he has good mental processing and navigation abilities.
In recent years, Thornhill has been struggling with knee injuries. While he missed the playoffs last year, he has a promising future. The second-round pick from Cincinnati could be a key piece in the defense. If he can stay healthy, Thornhill will help the Chiefs close the gap on the other running backs. The bruising injury he suffered in his rookie year cost him a promising season. He missed eight games in Year 2, and his playing time has been limited.
While Reid is the quintessential hard-hitting safety, Thornhill has a wide range of skills that complement his position. The former cornerback has the ability to drop into coverage, blitz the quarterback and step into the box against the run. He arrived in Kansas City at the same time as Thornhill and has already shown some leadership qualities. He has gathered the players for barbeques on days off.
Despite his struggles in 2018, the Patriots are now a healthy team. This season, they have only two running backs that aren’t injured. They had one healthy running back after an injury to lead back Damien Harris and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson in the second quarter, but the bruising isn’t over yet. As long as the two return to full health, New England could mitigate its losses.