The New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs twice last season, including an AFC Championship Game victory on the road, because their offense was able to rise to a higher level when needed.
If the Patriots continue their success over the Chiefs this season, the defense likely will be the reason. New England’s defense has enjoyed a near-perfect start through the first two weeks of the 2019 campaign. It’s allowed only three points over two weeks and has held opponents to a lackluster 5-for-27 mark on third downs. The Patriots also have five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 43-0 win over the Miami Dolphins.
Former NFL MVP and current CBS Sports analyst Boomer Esiason is impressed with what he’s seen from the Patriots defense so far, and he views the unit as one of the few able to combat the Chiefs’ high-scoring offense.
“One thing I will say in watching what they were doing (Sunday) and how they have played the first two games, one thing that is obvious to me and obvious to the guys at CBS is that they are built defensively to try to stop Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs,” Esiason said during his Monday morning appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show”.
“They have athletes in the secondary. They’re terrific, they’re smart, they pass guys off, they communicate, all the stuff that is going to be required to beat Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City band of merry men because those guys are flying up and down the field. I think the Patriots are probably one of the few teams that have the secondary that might be able to slow them down somewhat.”
The Patriots’ wins over the Chiefs last season included a 43-40 scoreline at home and a 37-31 triumph in overtime of the aforementioned AFC title game. New England’s defense held Chiefs quarterback and 2018 league MVP Patrick Mahomes in check for spurts during those games, but overall, he had his way with one of the league’s top secondaries.
The defending Super Bowl champs made a few notable additions to the defense in the offseason, including trading for pass rusher Michael Bennett, drafting Chase Winovich and bringing back linebacker Jamie Collins.
Slowing down the Chiefs is going to be one of the toughest tasks the Patriots face all season. KC has scored 68 points through two games and Mahomes already leads (or has a share of the lead) in passing yards and passing touchdowns.
We’ll learn a lot about both teams, especially the Patriots defense, when they square off in Week 14 at Gillette Stadium.
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