As the Kansas City Chiefs prepared for their 40-9 blowout of the Oakland Raiders, Arrowhead Pride writers were confident of a Kansas City victory; all picked the Chiefs to win, and most predicted a big win. Readers agreed. 91% thought the Chiefs would win, and 54% predicted a blowout.
Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the game between the Chiefs and the New England Patriots.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
Both teams need this game for different reasons. The Patriots need it to keep up with the Ravens in the race for the No. 1 seed, while the Chiefs need it to remind the world that they should not be taken lightly in January. Andy Reid has a better record than most against New England, often saving his best work for coach Belichick. The wait to open the playbook is finally over, which could mean we will see the infamous “Pat plays.” If we do, then I think it all points to the Chiefs scoring a big-time win that will send shockwaves throughout the AFC. Chiefs 41, Patriots 17.
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
It’s the Chiefs and the Patriots. How can a person fail to predict a close, high-scoring game? Both teams are likely to give special attention to the other team’s best receiving weapons. The Chiefs have better options if their top receivers are covered. Both teams will try to get their running backs involved in the passing game. There, the Patriots will have the edge. Neither quarterback is having the season their fans expected; both have a strong incentive to play their best game. As long as the Chiefs can get some pressure on Tom Brady, I’d give the edge to Patrick Mahomes. So normally, everything would point to a game decided by a field goal. The Chiefs have Harrison Butker. The Patriots have... well, nobody. All week, the team has been without a kicker. On Friday, Nick Folk — recovered from his appendectomy - worked out for the team and signed. The Chiefs had better be working hard on their short-yardage defense for fourth downs and two-point conversions. Chiefs 34, Patriots 26.
Ethan Douglas (@ChiefsAnalytics)
The Chiefs offense has looked out of sync lately, and the bye week didn’t seem to do much to fix that. While the Patriots offense certainly hasn’t been high powered either, I don’t think the Chiefs pass rush will get home and Brady will be able to game manage his way to a victory. Chiefs 17, Patriots 24
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
Throw out what you think you know about the Chiefs and the Patriots. Both will be pulling out all the stops to get a victory and strengthen their playoff position. For the Chiefs defense, it’s going to come down to how effective the pass rush can be. Tom Brady has made mistakes this year when faced with pressure. On offense, players like Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson will need to step up with the Patriots’ focus on the primary targets. I believe Andy Reid continues his success against Belichick’s defense — and the Chiefs pull out a win in an exciting game. Chiefs 34, Patriots 31
Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)
A game that most people — players and fans — all had circled coming into this year is finally here, and it most likely will live up to the hype. It’s a major game for both teams with the Patriots falling in their two games against top-flight quarterbacks while the Chiefs are looking to put their name back into that Super Bowl contenders group. When the Chiefs have the ball, they will undoubtedly see more of the Cover 0 looks with a double team dedicated to Tyreek Hill, and I fully expect them to be prepared for those looks with man-beating route concepts ready. The trick for Mahomes and the offense will be to avoid major mistakes when the Patriots throw something new at them that wouldn’t have been in the film study. When the Patriots have the ball, it’s going to be important to not get steamrolled in the run game but vastly more important will be dedicating the proper resources to Julian Edelman. Force Brady to rely on other receivers and his running backs to beat you, and the Chiefs should find defensive success. The game will be close, but I think the Chiefs have been stewing over this matchup for a while and will be up for the task. Chiefs 30, Patriots 27
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
It’s been a challenging year, with injuries, frustrating losses and a variety of issues from run defense to offensive woes to special-teams flaps. Perhaps it’s the steel-sharpening trials that go into the making of a championship team. It could be the low points that precede the triumphant rise in the movie of the season. If so, the dramatic music starts this weekend. Nothing bad from the past matters if the Chiefs can put together complete team performances this weekend and into the stretch run, they will again be the Super Bowl favorites. I can’t overstate the potential importance of this game. It just might be the beginning of the story of this team’s rise. I think they might have been saving their best stuff for this game. Chiefs 38, Patriots 17
Craig Stout (@barleyhop)
It’s Bill and Tom. It’s playing where the phones don’t work. The Patriots are on an 18-game home winning streak. They have the weapons to exploit the Chiefs worst matchups. It still doesn’t tip the scales completely in New England’s direction. Andy brings the “good” playbook and Mahomes is firing on all cylinders. Steve Spagnuolo dials up a great pressure plan, and the Chiefs do just enough to get the win in Foxboro. Chiefs 31, Patriots 28
Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)
I am absolutely terrified to bet against the Patriots. I believe the Chiefs to be the more talented team. They have the edge in the quarterback matchup, but they did twice last year too. This version of New England is not a great matchup for the Chiefs. Julian Edelman and James White are capable of exploiting the slot defenders and linebackers for the Chiefense. A struggling line will face an excellent package of pressures that the Patriots can throw at them. Plus, New England is coming off a loss. I came into this week expecting to pick a loss, but I think this team has a lot to play for and will have a sharp week knowing that this is likely the biggest challenge they’ll face in the regular season. The Chiefs play their most complete game of the season on Sunday. Chiefs 27, Patriots 21
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
In my opinion, this is the toughest matchup to call this season (not that I have been particularly great this year, anyway). The game we’ve looked forward to all season is not the game we thought it would be: rather than two powerhouse offenses, it has been both defenses that seem to be the strength. The Patriots have been playing well on defense all year, and the Chiefs are playing especially well lately, thanks to what we thought would be their most significant weakness — the secondary. I have said all week that I think this could be Patrick Mahomes’ last crack to beat the best quarterback of all time. I don’t think he allows that opportunity to pass him by. Chiefs 24, Patriots 16
Which team wins the Chiefs-Patriots game?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout
Chiefs in a close game
Patriots in a close game
Patriots in a blowout
Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.
As a group, Arrowhead Pride’s contributors predicted a 34.7-17.2 Chiefs win — correctly predicting a high-scoring game, but missing the point spread pretty substantially. With 26.9 points of error, it was right in the middle of the range of our composite predictions this season.
Ethan Douglas had just 10 points of error in his 42-14 prediction — his closest of the season. It moved him up into eighth place in the standings. Tom Childs and Ron Kopp Jr. each missed by 16 points with their 45-17 and and 41-17 picks.