Like every week, let’s check the FanPulse predictions:
FanPulse is a survey of fans across the NFL powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100-plus plugged-in fans from each team.
Arrowhead Pride FanPulse predicts the Chiefs to win by 5
Pats Pulpit FanPulse predicts the Patriots to win by 1
You can sign up for AP FanPulse here to take the weekly survey.
Also, to note, Arrowhead Pride will be having a watch party on Sunday night:
Should be a good time!
Now let’s get to the staff predictions:
Shawn Barber, Patriots 33-30
Keys to the Game
1. Make Tom Brady throw on the move. He is less effective out of the pocket. Bring pressure in the A-gaps early and often.
2. Understand the Patriots defense have always had a ball-hawk mentality on creating turnovers. They are always punching and clawing at the ball. ”Ball Security is Job Security.“
3. Chiefs offense will need to control the time of possession (35-plus minutes). Running on the Patriots defense is a priority. Ball control offense. ”First downs leads to touchdowns.”
4. This will be a shootout that comes down to the kicking game. Whoever has the ball last will win. Please don’t give Brady the ball with more than 20 seconds left and timeouts.
Late field-goal victory for the home team. Sorry Kingdom, Brady and company are in must-win mode.
Aaron Borgmann, Chiefs 33-28
Foxborough was always one of my least favorite places to go. It’s out in the middle of nowhere—the bus ride takes forever to get back and forth from Providence airport, and the weather usually isn’t good. None of that matters this week as the winning streak continues and the beat rolls on! The game will be a shootout, and last man standing wins.
John Dixon, Chiefs 24-21
Andy Reid and Bill Belichick have both assembled very good football teams. In the three games in which they have met since Reid arrived in Kansas City, his team has won two of them — both times in convincing fashion, as Reid completely out-coached Belichick, springing surprise after surprise on one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. It’s tempting to just say this is going to be a shootout, and the last team with the ball will win. And that could easily happen. But I can’t help but think about the chess game Reid and Belichick will be playing. I think both will expect the other to depend on their quarterback to win the game, so I expect both defenses to come out swinging, trying to rattle the other team’s signal-caller. If that’s the way it plays out, I believe the Chiefs will have the edge and prevail in an unexpectedly low-scoring game: Chiefs 24-21. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll be writing about it from my table at the Arrowhead Pride Watch Party at The Other Place in Overland Park. You should join us!
Matt Lane, Chiefs 45-34
The Chiefs are heading up to New England Sunday night, and they are going into this game playing with house money. Win or lose, they are in position to control their own destiny to the one seed and the way they will lose this game is defensive failure and being outscored. With Patrick Mahomes at the helm, there is no concern that the Chiefs could not outscore New England in a rematch. For that reason, I think the Chiefs will come into the game loose and simply having fun, which always makes a team more dangerous.
The Pats offense matches up very well against the Chiefs defense mostly due to the simple fact that Tom Brady excels in the short passing game, specifically over the middle and to his RBs. The two biggest weaknesses of the Chiefs defense to this point have been linebackers in coverage against running backs and communication in the middle of the defense. Tom Brady is a mastermind at reading defenses and deciphering who is going to be open and when. The Patriots, after seeing the Chiefs run defense these last few weeks despite investing only in run defense this offseason, may opt to just run the ball 40 times, as they’ve shown to do in the past. The only hope for the Chiefs defense is to pressure Brady quickly and frequently, and the matchup of Dee Ford against Marcus Cannon or Trent Brown favors the Chiefs heavily.
When the Chiefs are on offense, there is little to nothing the Patriots have shown up to this point to confidently say they’ll slow them down in any way. A limited pass rush, limited speed in the middle and a secondary unit still trying to figure out how to play in new system, this should be a game where the offense starts to put up big points again. Bill Belichick will definitely have some wrinkles that the young Mahomes will have to figure out, but based upon what we’ve seen thus far, there is no reason to think he isn’t going to carve up this defense. The Pats have a history of trying to take away Travis Kelce and still trot out a solid run defense, so this is a game that Tyreek Hill and Sammy “Lizard King” Watkins should be able to feast on one on one matchups much of the game.
Gary McKenzie, Patriots 35-33
This will probably be the last time I pick against the Chiefs all season. I don’t think the Chiefs will go 16-0, and I don’t think it’s an easy task to win back-to-back games in New England.
Bill Belichick is smart, and he will run a ball-control offense against the Chiefs and not let up — unlike every team that has faced Kansas City. If anyone can figure out a blueprint to beat the Chiefs, it’s the Patriots and Belichick.
However... if the Chiefs win, it will be because Brady’s age is finally catching up with him and he just can’t put enough points on the board to win the game.
Matt Stagner, Patriots 42-35
Another big test this week, and nothing would really surprise me. The Pats could win in a blowout, as Brady and Hoodie bring Pat and Andy back to reality. The Chiefs could win or lose a close game... both quarterbacks are clutch, so the last team with the ball wins. Or, Mahomes could get back to throwing five-plus TD passes, and the Chiefs could win by two or more scores. I’ll go with the Patriots winning on the final drive.
Craig Stout, Chiefs 49-38
Playing the Patriots in Foxboro is a tough assignment, regardless of the team on the other side of the ball. Averaging a ridiculous 34.3 points per game at home, the Patriots offense can and will move the ball against a porous Chiefs defense. Tom Brady will find better luck in the red zone than the previous couple opponents for the Chiefs, with Gordon, Edelman, Gronk, Michel, and White all needing to be accounted for. The Patriots offense very easily could hang 40 points on the Chiefs defense this week, but the Chiefs offense should outpace them. The team radios may not work, but the Chiefs offense can still score at will against a Patriots defense that Blake Bortles and company threw for 370-plus yards and four touchs. Take the over, it’s gonna be a barnburner.
Kent Swanson, Patriots 41-35
We got no safeties, no healthy OLBs...OUR PETS’ HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!
If Patrick Mahomes can lead this team in a shootout, he’s going to be the league MVP. That is a huge ask because the defense is hobbled. If street free agent Frank Zombo is getting run, it’s hard to see them being able to slow them down.
The Chiefs can significantly increase their chances at the one seed with victories this week and next against Cincinnati. 1-1 still keeps them in great shape, a sweep all but locks it up. Unless Eric Berry comes back, I can’t see the Chiefs pulling this one off (even then I don’t feel great). It’s daunting with the current lineup. The defense doesn’t do much of anything in the way of resistance. Hammer that over folks.
Pete Sweeney, Patriots 24-21
If I am Bill Belichick, perhaps the greatest football head coach of all time, what do I do in this game? Let’s jump into Belichick’s shoes…
As Bill, I have already said this, this week: “[The Chiefs are] all dangerous. You can’t stop one guy in this offense. They’ve got too many guys. The quarterback is a problem. The backs are a problem. The tight ends are a problem. The receivers are a problem. They’re all a problem.”
So I know for sure the Chiefs will score—so how do I limit that? By keeping the ball out of Patrick Mahomes’ hands. I have my more-than-capable quarterback toy with a Chiefs’ defense littered with injuries with slow and methodical, clock-draining drives. I limit Mahomes’ chances to beat me by taking time off the clock.
This could be the toughest challenge the Chiefs face this year because it’s the one where Andy Reid’s game-planning is no doubt matched. I think the Pats play to their own strengths and keep it more low-scoring than the Chiefs are used to this season, and the Patriots deal the Chiefs their first loss of the season by a small margin.
Joel Thorman, Chiefs 27-26
Everything says this game will be in the 30s or 40s but I think the Patriots do what everyone else should do and slow down the game, run the ball and limit the Chiefs possessions. I don’t think the Patriots have the horses to keep up with the Chiefs in a shootout so they play ball control. It’s not enough as the Chiefs move to 6-0.
Aly Trost, Chiefs 38-35
Patrick Mahomes will make up for the Chiefs’ defensive woes and Kareem Hunt will be key with another massive showing against the Patriots (much like his breakout performance against them last year with 246 scrimmage yards and three TDs). It’ll be all hands on deck offensively for the Chiefs and Belichick just won’t have an answer for Mahomes’ arm and versatility and whatever surprises that Andy Reid has planned. Defense will do just enough to keep the Patriots at bay with Dee Ford leading the charge and I’ll be watching this all go down with you all at The Other Place in Overland Park for the Arrowhead Pride Watch Party See you there!
Dane Van Why, Patriots 37-33
The Chiefs surprised me last week with that impressive win over a good Jacksonville team, but I think they’ve met their match against the Patriots and an offense with far more weapons and playmakers than that of the Jaguars. While the defense held strong last week, they did it against Blake Bortles, who is no Tom Brady. The Pats got their man back last week in Julian Edelman who I believe will have a decent showing against Kansas City’s defense and I’m expecting Josh Gordon to have his New England coming out party with a raucous Foxboro crowd behind him. It’ll be a close one, but I think the Pats are just too good right now for the Chiefs, especially after coming off of nearly 10 days rest since their last game.
Here are the staff standings. There’s a log-jam of contributors who are tied at the top — It’s pretty easy to pick these games when the Chiefs win all of them! Hopefully, they can keep it up.
|Dane Van Why||4-1|
This week, only six staff writers picked the Chiefs to win. This has been the lowest level of confidence from our staff all season. How awesome would it be if Mahomes and the Chiefs win in New England and turn the old AFC balance of power on its head?
Who are you picking?
Who wins on Sunday night in New England?
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