Sunday, January 20 at 6:40 PM ET
Mainly clear; very cold
Winds from the SE 5 mph
Gusts: 10 mph
The New England Patriots visit the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday night.
Despite a dominant performance in their 41-28 win against the Chargers on Sunday, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are getting three points on the road in the AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs.
It's shocking that the Patriots, winners of five Super Bowls, are getting the "no one believes in us" treatment but the Chiefs played them tough in a Week 6 43-40 loss at Gillette Stadium on October 14 and Andy Reid teams have a history of giving New England everything they can handle from a defensive perspective.
The Chiefs will have an opportunity to prove that they didn't lose that shootout and that they just ran out of time. The Kansas City defense also showed a lot of life against Indianapolis, although it's clear that Brady and the Patriots will present a bigger challenge.
New England got physical down the stretch of the regular season in terms of trying to establish the run game and Kansas City is absolutely vulnerable against the run and have been all year long. Los Angeles had a top-10 rushing defense this season and Sony Michel still managed to put up 129 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.
Kansas City's run defense was 27th in the NFL, allowing 132.1 rushing yards per game and 31st, giving up 5.0 yards per carry. Defensive tackle Chris Jones will be a key player, he finished the season with 15.5 sacks and his athleticism can help him be effective at both getting to the quarterback and filling holes to stop the run.
To have success against Sony Michel and the Patriots, the Chiefs will have to own the time of possession again or it could be a long afternoon for their defense.
The Patriots employed a fierce pass rush against the Chargers all afternoon but Patrick Mahomes is not Philip Rivers, he's close to winning the MVP award because of his ability to whip quick passes, escape pressure, and make plays on the run, like on Saturday's 31-13 win against the Colts, when he torched them for 278 yards on a day when he didn't even have to do much through the air and he also did this throughout the season.
Mahomes completed 16 of 22 passes for 180 yards when the Ravens sent five or more rushers on December 9.
This means that the Patriots will have to focus on their coverage next Sunday, so All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, undrafted free agent find J.C. Jackson and the rejuvenated Jason McCourty will have to be at their best. This promises to be another incredible game between two exciting teams and there will be some fireworks.
The New England Patriots are:
2-7 ATS in their last nine AFC Championship games
1-4 ATS in their last five games after accumulating more than 250 passing yards in their previous game
1-4 ATS in their last five games on grass
The Kansas City Chiefs are:
17-5 ATS in their last 22 games after accumulating more than 150 rushing yards in their previous game
6-2 ATS in their last eight games following a straight up win of more than 14 points
11-4 ATS in their last 15 games after allowing less than 90 rushing yards in their previous game
19-7 ATS in their last 26 games following an ATS win
NFL Pick: Chiefs -3 (+100) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzsportsON