×

Chiefly speaking, Patriots should be OK on Sunday

Somehow, when all seems dire in the world of the New England Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs just seem to show up.

It was the blowout Patriot loss at Kansas City back in 2014, when then-ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer declared that “They’re just not good anymore” referring to the Patriots, that we were all on to Cincinnati and then a Super Bowl championship. One media member that night even asked it Bill Belichcik would evaluate the quarterback position after Tom Brady got mauled with a paper thin offensive line.

Then came the sobering season opener in 2017 in which then Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt became an instant star and wrecking crew.

And last year, it looked bleak when a lousy December forced the Patriots to go to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game and won in an OT during which the Chiefs never saw the football.

There are all sorts of numbers to consider here. The Patriots are a ridiculous 99-1 in the Brady era at Gillette when leading at haltime. The one loss? To the Kansas City Chiefs, when they got obliterated in the fourth quarter to open the 2017 season.

Also at Gillette, when Brady and receiver Julian Edelman are healthy and in the lineup at the same time, 42-0 at home. Remember, in that 2017 game against the Chiefs, Edelman was already done with a season-ending knee injury suffered in the preseason.

This is the annual Sky Is Falling Week, complete with the forecast of Brady’s iminent departure. But the Patriots do have weaknesses that other teams can exploit. The question is, how many teams can actually do that?

But remember the Gillette factor here. The true panic will be if they lose this game.

“I think in life, with anybody, if you don’t get what you want out of whatever you’re putting a ton of work in, you’re like,’Alright, we’ve got to get back to it,'” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. “And now we’ve got to do a little bit more to make sure we get that win the next week.”

Same here, after a 3-4 week when we changed what our first thoughts were on the Patriots and then got daring picking a couple of upsets that didn’t happen.

Here we go:

PATRIOTS 24, CHIEFS 21

Somebody is kicking a game winning field goal in a Patriot uniform. Who? We wouldn’t be surprised if the rookie punter,Jake Bailey, gets the nod if Nick Folk didn’t feel well enough to be re-signed.

Patriots should be able to run the ball , finally, against this KC defense We got burned last week following trends in Houston. But the Gillette trend is hard to ignore. A Patriot win could possibly increases the possibility that it could be the Ravens and Chiefs meeting in the AFC Divisional round.

BILLS 17, RAVENS 16

Upset special. Buffalo seems to keep getting better and better. Can the Lamar Jackson Show keep running right through February? Maybe, but we say the Bills defense provides a bump in the road since they’ll have the advantage at home.

TITANS 27, RAIDERS 21

Oakland is fading and the Titans are trending. Somehow Mike Vrabel has been able to resuscitate Ryan Tannehill’s career. Tennessee can smell the playoffs, and we say they’re better than the 7-5 team ahead of them, the Steelers. Will be interesting down the stretch but the Raiders should be toast.

HOUSTON 33, DENVER 13

Yes, the Texans, although not perfect, look like the real deal, especially at home. We could be looking at the end of John Elway at the helm in Denver, don’t you think?

SAINTS 30, 49ERS 27

One of a few really good games this weekend. Home rule here. New Orleans has looked really good, so-so, and at times not good at all. The 49ers have to prove they can win on the road. The Superdome isn’t exactly an easy place to do it.

SEAHAWKS 24, RAMS 13

The Rams bounced back in a big way, proving us wrong. How dare they. They won’t do it two weeks in a row. Pete Carroll has that magic back with Seattle, thanks in part to MVP candidate Russell Wilson. Wilson over Jared Goff 10 out of 10 times.

COLTS 23, BUCS 17

The only interconference game of the weekend, and it’s between two teams fighting for survival. Hate to say it, but the positive for Indyy may be that Adam Vinatieri (knee) may not be kicking in this one. The Colts are the definition of mediocrity – 21.8 points for per game, 21.4 allowed. Tampa almost the same – 28.3 for, but 28.8 against.Hence the 5-7 mark and another non playoff year.

LAST WEEK: 3-4

SEASON: 60-32

Tom King may be reached at 594-1251 or tking@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow King on Twitter (@Telegraph_TomK).