(Editor’s Note: At press time, the Week 4 match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots has been postponed due to reported positive cases of COVID-19 on both teams. The NFL has announced that the game will be rescheduled for a date to be determined.)
The Kansas City Chiefs have enjoyed an amazing start to the season.
Not only are they healthy and undefeated, but one of those three wins came over the projected challenger for the #1 seed: the Baltimore Ravens.
With a 3-0 record and a superstar QB, Andy Reid looks ahead to his next challenge: the New England Patriots.
Bill Belichick has defied expectations yet again and has fielded a 2-1 start to the season. With new QB Cam Newton at the helm and a stable of running backs, the Patriots have fielded one of the strongest power run games in the NFL this year.
Without further ado, the match-ups!
Chiefs Receivers vs. Patriots Secondary
This is most likely going to be the most important match-up of the game. Kansas City has shown the ability to thrive against lockdown units such as the Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers. The Patriots, meanwhile, have reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, Jason and Devin McCourty, and J.C. Jackson, a group that has proven to be quite solid against the pass.
Kansas City, however, comes in with a bevy of weapons on the outside. Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Sammy Watkins all provide incredible speed for the KC passing attack. Look for the trio to revert to the norm and have big games through the air on Sunday
Patriots Run Game vs. KC Front-Seven
Coming into this match-up, the Patriots are the #1 rushing team in the NFL with 534 yards. Kansas City, however, comes in as a bottom-10 unit in the league, creating a mismatch for the Patriots.
Belichick has shown that anybody and everybody will get touches. Cam Newton, Sony Michel, James White, and Rex Burkhead have all had their big games this year. With Kansas City struggling to cover backs in space, as well as bringing down ball carriers, I expect the Patriots to run all over the Chiefs. Cam Newton scores at least one rushing touchdown.
Frank Clark vs. Isaiah Wynn
The Patriots have long had a habit of making bad O-linemen look good in their system. Unfortunately, Isaiah Wynn isn’t one of them. Since he was drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, Wynn has seen limited playing time due to injuries, and he hasn’t exactly shined when he’s on the field. Looking decent in the run game but unstable in pass protection, this could be a game for Frank Clark to get multiple sacks.
Clark has been able to get after the quarterback consistently again this season, collecting two sacks and two TFLs. With Chris Jones handling the interior of the Pats line, Clark will be matched up one-on-one against Wynn. Though Cam is mobile, Clark was able to sack Lamar Jackson; Superman shouldn’t be any harder.
Tyrann Mathieu vs. Julian Edelman
This will be a match-up to watch closely as Tyrann Mathieu plays more in the slot due to L’Jarius Sneed’s injury. With Julian Edelman being one of the better slot receivers in the league, keeping Mathieu in the slot and relying on Tedric Thompson to play deep with Juan Thornhill would be the most advisable move. Edelman has been known for his ability to slice up defenses across the middle, and for a defense that can’t tackle, the next best thing is to keep the ball out of their hands in the first place.
Mathieu has had another excellent start to the season this year. While he has no interceptions, he’s been sticky in coverage and excellent when playing in the box, putting up 18 total tackles. Mathieu matching up against Edelman could be the tipping point of the game.
Kansas City beat the big boogeyman on their schedule, so everything should be smooth sailing from here.
I expect the Patriots to continue to run the ball, but ultimately fall short when they cannot keep up with the Chiefs in a shootout.
Final Score: 34-17 Chiefs