New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Monday that it's been a few years since they played the Kansas City Chiefs so they don't know the players very well.
That's true but...they do know the front office and coaching staff really well. The big Chiefs-Patriots connection is GM Scott Pioli and Belichick but Romeo Crennel is a significant one as well. QB Tom Brady said in his Wednesday media session that the Chiefs defense is basically what the Patriots do on defense.
"Yeah, it's what we do on defense so there's a lot of familiarity through training camp and everyday in practice," Brady said of Crennel's unit. "It's really a 3-4 defense, they're very fundamentally sound, you can see the things they're coaching every week. They line up, they're very physical, they make it hard to run it, they got some very good and experienced corners, some athletic linebackers, so it's a very good group.
"Because they're very well coached," Brady continued, "they're rarely in bad position. In order to make plays you gotta run good routes, you gotta make good throws, you gotta pass protect against one of the best pass rushers we'll face in [Tamba] Hali. They have a very good group."
What Brady says might be true but the stats give us a slightly different picture. KC's defense ranks 23rd in points allowed, 16th against the pass (25th in passing touchdowns) and 26th against the rush. The Patriots offense, meanwhile, is ranked third in the league, second in yards and first in passing yards.
So the Chiefs defense will have to be everything Brady says it is in order to slow these guys down.