Patriots

Ex-NFL MVP praises Patriots defense as one ‘built’ to slow down Chiefs

Ex-NFL MVP praises Patriots defense as one ‘built’ to slow down Chiefs

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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Tom Brady laughs off Patriots injury report designation: 'I'm feeling really good'

Tom Brady laughs off Patriots injury report designation: 'I'm feeling really good'

The New England Patriots' Thursday injury report raised some eyebrows as Tom Brady was downgraded to limited in practice. But per usual, the injury designation doesn't seem to be a cause for concern.

In fact, Brady couldn't help but laugh when asked about being listed with elbow and toe ailments. During his Thursday night appearance on Westwood One with Jim Gray, Brady assured Patriots fans he'll be good to go vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

“That might be the first time my toe’s been on the injury report,” Brady said. “So, you know us Patriots. We’re pretty diligent about listing everything. So, I guess you have to make mention of my toe now, as well.”

As for the elbow issue, Brady dealt with it during last week's game in Houston and is ready to do the same at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

“Isn’t there some HIPAA violation or something like that when I start talking about all of my injuries?” Brady joked. “I’m doing pretty good. I’m doing pretty good. At this time of the year, I’ll take it. I’ll take anything if I’m still able to go out there and feel like I can play my best. I’m feeling really good, really positive about this weekend.”

Kickoff for the much-anticipated Patriots-Chiefs matchup is set for 4:25 p.m., and it sounds like Brady's more than ready for the AFC Championship Game rematch.

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Patriots Talk Podcast: A detailed look at why Tom Brady's time in NE is winding down

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: A detailed look at why Tom Brady's time in NE is winding down

For 19 seasons, Tom Brady has been the unquestioned starter at quarterback for the New England Patriots. And for 19 years, he has started every game that he has been healthy for.

But ahead of the 2020 offseason, Brady's status with the organization remains as questionable as ever.

For the first time in his career, the 42-year-old Brady will be set to hit unrestricted free agency. He agreed to a restructured contract with the team this offseason, but it only gave him a pay raise this season and guaranteed that the team couldn't slap him with the franchise tag.

While Brady could return to the Patriots, it's possible that he could choose to go elsewhere if the team doesn't commit to him financially or surround him with better weaponry.

On the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed the possibility of Brady leaving. And as Curran pointed out, that topic hasn't been broached with much seriousness despite the fact that free agency is closer than some may realize.

We're talking about a seismic occurrence in the arc of the dynasty that is basically 90 days away. They could come to some kind of conclusion and rectify it and he might finish his career here, but it doesn't smell that way.

It's important to note that nothing is set in stone, and the Brady-Patriots relationship has endured for two decades for a reason. Despite some strain in the relationship at times, things have always been smoothed over. 

That said, there are some quarterback-needy teams that could attempt to lure Brady away from New England in an attempt to put their team over the top. Curran and Perry identified a few different options on the podcast, one of which was the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hear more from Curran and Perry on the latest episode of "The Patriots Talk Podcast," which drops every Tuesday and Thursday as a part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

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