All eyes will be on the NFL as Sunday Night Football looks to deliver an exciting matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. For these two teams, the season has started off completely opposite. The Chiefs came out of preseason red hot picking up wins in five straight contests led by second year quarterback Pat Mahomes. The Patriots meanwhile have been up and down over the first five weeks but found a way to move to 3-2 last week while keeping them atop the AFC East division.
Now these two teams will face off on Sunday Night Football as fans and sports handicappers will expect to see a ton of points scored by two offenses that have the potential to move the ball. The Chiefs enter this game ranked 5th in the NFL in total offensive yards per game (413 ypg) and 2nd in points scored per contest. The Patriots meanwhile despite ranking 22nd overall in yards per game (357.4 ypg) still rank 9th in total points scored per contest.
The big question in this contest is whether or not either team’s defense can slow down the other team’s offense? The Chiefs rank 1st in the NFL in yards allowed per game (461.8 ypg) while the Patriots sit in the middle at 16th (366 ypg). The biggest key on the defensive side of the ball may come down on third down. The Chiefs are allowing just under 30 percent of their opponents third down conversion to be successful while the Patriots offense ranks 7th in successful attempts.
Here are the keys to the game for both the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
NFL Football Keys to the Game
Kansas City Chiefs – Shut Down the Intermediate Passing Game
With the return of Julian Edelman and the big play potential in the passing game out of the backfield from James White, the Chiefs defense will need to look to slow down the short passing game. This also includes limiting the short yardage passes to tight end Rob Gronkowski. If the Chiefs can limit this it will be force the team to move the ball on the ground or look down field an area that they have struggled early on with.
New England Patriots – Limit the Yardage on 1st & 2nd Downs
The Patriots offense has the ability to get into a shootout with any team in the NFL as long as Tom Brady is under center. That said for this team to win this game against the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football they will need to limit the Chiefs yardage on 1st and 2nd down. The Chiefs have struggled at times this season converting just 29.3 percent of their third down conversions. This success will force Pat Mahomes to look for bigger plays down field.
NFL Betting Trends
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs hot start has been successful sports handicappers early on as they have covered the spread in all five games they have played this season. This includes covering the spread in three road contests. Along with that success the Chiefs have covered the spread in four straight road contests and six of their last eight overall contests in October.
New England Patriots – The season has been a roller coaster ride for the Patriots with their success come at home at Gillette Stadium. Entering Sunday Night the Patriots have covered the spread in all three home contests this season. The success doesn’t stop there as they have dominated against good teams at home covering the spread in 15 of their last 22 home games against teams with a winning road record.
Head 2 Head – With these two teams meeting only once every couple years the trends are inconsistent in this. That said, the two teams have split their head to head meetings over their last two meetings with the Chiefs winning last season at Gillette Stadium. Outside of that win the Chiefs had lost six straight games dating back to the 1998 NFL Season.
What’s next for these two teams?
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs will return home to Arrowhead to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in a matchup of division leaders in the AFC. ,
New England Patriots – The Patriots will head to Chicago to take on the Bears on October 21st, 2018 @ 1pm EST.