Bill Belichick is the greatest defensive football coach ever, but are the Kansas City Chiefs too good for even him to figure out? We’ll find out on Sunday night.
Both of the teams squaring off on Sunday Night Football in Week 6 just might be taking on the biggest tests of their respective seasons.
On one side, the New England Patriots have to try to find a way to stop the NFL’s most unstoppable offense: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and the white hot Kansas City Chiefs. On the other side, the Chiefs have to find a way to do something that only seems to happen every once in a blue moon: go into Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts and get a win against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
It’s a picture-perfect showdown for the prime time Sunday night slot — we know Cris Collinsworth will have plenty of fun with it on the NBC broadcast — and it’s a game that will tell us a lot about who is currently in charge of the AFC.
To this point, nobody has been able to solve the Chiefs and their first-year starting quarterback Mahomes, who has played just five games this season and already looks like he’s the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. You can’t make any serious judgments after just five games, but Mahomes has “megastar” and “future multiple-time MVP” written all over him.
With what could possibly be the most entertaining prime time game of the season looming on Sunday, it begs the question: Is Bill Belichick, undoubtedly the greatest defensive football coach (and just football coach in general) of all time, the guy that can finally stop Mahomes and the Chiefs?
If there is anybody that can piece together a game plan to solve this conundrum, it’s definitely Belichick.
The Patriots are lucky to be getting the Chiefs in October rather than September. New England always seems to go through its annual slump in the month of September, and this year was no different. Belichick’s defense was borderline nonexistent in a pair of road defeats in Jacksonville and Detroit.
But since then, the Pats have played two games at home, and there was a drastic difference between the team that traveled to other cities and the team that showed up at Gillette Stadium. At home, Belichick’s defense took the form of a brick wall against the Miami Dolphins in a 38-7 win in Week 4. Then four days later on Thursday night primetime, New England’s defense once again went to work against the Colts, even intercepting Andrew Luck in typical Pats-Colts fashion for a 38-24 victory.
But it’s impossible to compare the offenses of the Dolphins and Colts to that of the Chiefs. Belichick hasn’t faced a group this electrifying all year, and he will have to cook up something seriously innovative if he wants to have any chance at containing these guys.
There’s no reason to doubt that Belichick can pull it off. This is the guy who refused to call a timeout in the final minute of Super Bowl XLIX, even though the Seattle Seahawks had the ball on New England’s one-yard line and were just a simple Marshawn Lynch run away from a go-ahead touchdown to all but win the game. Instead of calling a timeout and preserving more time for Tom Brady, Belichick allowed the clock to run because he knew his defense was more than prepared for the situation, and because he knew that Pete Carroll and the Seahawks would end up beating themselves.
Sure enough, instead of handing off to Lynch, Russell Wilson attempted a go-ahead touchdown pass and Malcolm Butler was right there to pick it off and clinch the win for New England. That moment sealed Belichick’s legacy as the greatest defensive football mind of all time, and anybody who makes the mistake of doubting his greatness usually ends up paying for it.
But Mahomes and this Kansas City offense are unlike anything we’ve seen in this league in a long time.
If anyone can solve them, it’s Belichick. But even he might be in over his head with this one.