Saturday, October 24, 2020

AFC Championship Preview: New England Patriots @ Kansas City Chiefs

The team everyone loves to hate, the New England Patriots are set to play in a record 8th consecutive AFC Championship game today. They’re the only team to ever reach this milestone, but their opponents today could very well be the next dynasty set to take over the NFL.

If Brady’s wisdom and experience manage to upset Patrick Mahomes and his high flying offence the Patriots would be attending their 3rd straight Super Bowl and their 11th appearance overall (a 9th for Tom Brady).

The Patriots can join Miami (3) and Buffalo (4) as the only teams to reach three consecutive Super Bowls.

AFC Championship looking to the past

American Entrepreneur, Robert Kiyosaki once said “the best way to predict the future is to study the past”. But does that apply to tonight’s juggernaut clash?

The Patriots and Chiefs will meet each other for the 2nd time in 2018/19 and the 2nd time ever in the post-season. On October 14th in a Sunday funday football clash, the Patriots battled to a 43-40 victory at Gillette Stadium.

Three years ago, the two met in the 2015 AFC Divisional playoffs with New England winning 27-20  at the Gilette Stadium. A contest which saw the Patriots advance to their 5th straight AFC Championship game.

This past season’s game was the 4th consecutive primetime matchup between the pair.

(Throwback: 2015 AFC Championship playoff | Youtube)

Interestingly the Chiefs hold a winning record over New England at 18-14-3. At Arrowhead that winning record still remains at an 11-3-1 record. At Gillette, New England almost exclusively dominate with a 9-2 record.

New England and Kansas City used to play twice a year up from 1960-1970. The AFC-NFL merger is what ended their divisional rivalry.

Last Time Out

In their last meeting the New England Patriots took the spoils and improved to 4-2 after a Gostkowski clutch kick in the final seconds of the game earned the Patriots a 43-40 victory at home. This defeat was the first KC suffered having come in off of a strong 5-0 season start.

QB Whizz Kid Patrick Mahomes hit star receiver Tyreek Hill on a 75-yard TD pass to tie the game at 40-40 with a little over 3 minutes remaining. That touchdown completed a 15-point comeback as the Patriots ended the first half 24-9.

AFC Championship rematch
FOXBOROUGH, MA – OCTOBER 14: Duron Harmon #21 of the New England Patriots intercepts a ball in the second quarter of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The Patriots were equally as impressive as they became the first team to not commit a single penalty or punt the ball whatsoever – putting up 500 yards on the KC Defense.

During the game winning drive, surprise 1st-round selection Sony Michel converted a crucial 3rd and 1. During the 3rd down of the following downs Brady hit his long time reliable target Gronkowski for a 39-yard gain, putting the Patriots inside KC’s 10-yard line.

Some clever clock management from Brady as he took a knee to let the clock wind down before Gostkowski put a 28-yard field goal between the sticks as the clock hit 0:00.

Prediction

This is where the Mahomes circus comes crashing down to reality. There’s no denying the guys talents but his level of play is unsustainable – as soon as one team figures out how to play against Mahomes his near perfect play will likely end.

I’m hedging my bets on good ol’ Bill to figure out KC’s offensive power.

I see the game going heavily in New Englands favour with a scoreline of 38-10

Check out the NFC Championship preview here.

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