Kansas City Chiefs vs New England Patriots Prediction & Preview
Kansas City Chiefs vs New England Patriots 2019-01-20 NFL,
It’s the AFC Championship Game coming to you from the Midwest. The New England Patriots battle the Kansas City Chiefs with a berth in Super Bowl LIII on the line Sunday evening. New England advanced to the conference title game by downing the Chargers 41-28 last Sunday at home in the AFC Divisional Round. Kansas City rolled to a 31-13 win over the Colts in the AFC Divisional Round at home last Saturday. The Chiefs lead the all-time regular season series 18-14-3, though the Patriots took a 43-40 win at home in the last matchup on October 14, 2018. In the lone playoff meeting in the history between the teams, the Patriots took a 27-20 win at home in the AFC Divisional Round on January 16, 2016.
A Quick Review of the Season to Date
New England Patriots Review
New England had a hot start to the game and that helped them control things en route to the win over the Chargers. The Patriots now look to make a third straight Super Bowl appearance but first they’ll have to come up with the win on the road here. New England makes their NFL record eighth consecutive conference title game appearance. The Patriots, after seeing the Chargers tie the game in the first quarter at seven, scored 31 unanswered points to take a 38-7 edge midway through the third quarter. New England gave up a couple of garbage time touchdowns to make the final score closer than what the game actually was. The Patriots held a 498-335 edge in total offense, rolled up 30 first downs while allowing 22 and dominated time of possession by a 38:40 to 22:20 margin in the contest. New England forced a pair of turnovers in the game while not committing one.
Kansas City Chiefs Review
Kansas City picked up their first home playoff win in 25 years as they shut down the Colts’ offensive attack to advance. The Chiefs now try to avenge their regular season loss back in week 6 to the Patriots with the team’s first Super Bowl berth since Super Bowl IV on the line. Kansas City led 14-0 after the opening quarter and 24-7 at the half before cruising to the win. The Chiefs outgained the Colts 433-263 in the game and picked up 29 first downs while allowing 15. Kansas City controlled the clock by a 39:49 to 20:11 margin while both teams committed a turnover. The Chiefs did give up a score on a blocked punt.
New England Patriots Offense vs. Kansas City Chiefs Defense
Running the Ball: Who Has the Edge?
New England Patriots Rushing Offense
New England was remarkably consistent when it came to running the football this season. The Patriots cracked the century mark in nine games this season and they ran for at least 76 yards in six of the other seven contests. The lone anomaly for New England came in their week 10 loss to the Titans when they were limited to just 40 yards on 19 carries. In the last four games of the season, the Patriots ran the ball for an average of 144.3 yards per game, 4.6 yards per carry and found the end zone three times. In the divisional round against the Chargers, New England had 34 rushing attempts total 155 yards plus four scores.
Rookie Sony Michel led the Patriots in the ground game with 209 carries for 931 yards and six scores. James White (94 carries, 425 yards, five TD), Cordarrelle Patterson (42 carries, 228 yards, TD) and Rex Burkhead (57 carries, 186 yards) are all factors in the ground game as well. This season, the Patriots have a total of 12 runs that have covered at least 20 yards. White led the team with five while Michel added four and Patterson two. New England moved the sticks 131 times via the ground this season.
Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense
Kansas City has struggled in all facets of defense this season, which makes it all the more important that their offense carries the day. The Chiefs have had problems stopping the run, allowing at least 100 yards in 12 of their 16 games this season. Kansas City has held just two opponents under 70 yards on the ground this season, with that coming in week 2 against the Steelers, when they allowed a season-low 37 yards, and in a week 6 demolition of the Bengals, when they allowed 65. Kansas City allowed at least 170 yards on the ground six times this season. Over the final quarter of the season, the Chiefs allowed an average of 162.5 yards per game, 4.8 yards per carry and five touchdowns on the ground. In the divisional playoff win over Indianapolis, the Chiefs stepped up defensively. Kansas City allowed 87 yards on 14 carries but 46 of those yards came on a fourth quarter drive with the Colts down 17 points. The Chiefs are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
Anthony Hitchens is the team’s leading tackler as he has piled up 135 tackles (81 solo) with 6.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Reggie Ragland contributes 86 tackles (46 solo) with half a sack plus three tackles for loss while Dee Ford (55 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles), Xavier Williams (47 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, forced fumble) and Chris Jones (40 tackles, six tackles for loss, two forced fumbles) are solid in the front seven as well. The Chiefs have allowed just 11 runs of at least 20 yards this season but has seen the opposition move the chains 129 times on the ground this season.