The New England Patriots will have too many weapons for the dismal Kansas City Chiefs defense on Sunday Night Football in Week 6.
Bill Belichick is right to be concerned about the Kansas City Chiefs offense. But it’s Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton who should be losing more sleep between now and Week 6’s road game against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
Sutton’s unit has been dismal so far this season. Failings on this side of the ball will finally catch up with the unbeaten Chiefs this week.
Patrick Mahomes has made Kansas City’s offense the most exciting in the NFL. In fact, the Chiefs own perhaps the most dynamic O’ in a generation.
Mahomes and his receivers can only do so much, though, to mask the ongoing weaknesses on defense. Nobody’s ruthlessly exploited those weaknesses yet, one reason KC is 5-0, but you better believe Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will make the Chiefs D’ look like its numbers Sunday night.
Those numbers are dire: 32nd in yards, 20th in points, 31st against the pass and 24th against the run.
They aren’t the kind of numbers teams take into Gillette Stadium and survive. Sure, the Chiefs can point to Week 1 of last season when Kareem Hunt stomped through New England’s feeble run defense en route to a 42-27 victory on the Pats’ home turf.
The Chiefs will need at least 42 points to beat the Patriots again. Especially since topping 27 points will be no sweat for a New England offense better than a year ago.
None of the Patriots’ numbers are impressive so far, apart from being ninth in points. But this is a group that’s only had Julian Edelman available for one game.
Edelman adds the sure hands from the slot and chain-moving efficiency on option routes Tom Brady has made his Hall of Fame career off. Defenses can’t double down on Rob Gronkowski with Edelman in the lineup.
Trying to keep Edelman and Gronkowski under wraps leaves backfield catch-machine James White even more room to cause damage. Gronk and Edelman may still be Brady’s go-to guys, but this is rapidly becoming White’s offense.
White and his 32 catches and four receiving touchdowns are important, but another running back is giving the Pats an edge. Rookie Sony Michel is steadily giving New England the grinder between the tackles to complement Brady’s arm.
Michel is already keeping pace with some of the bigger names at his position from the 2018 NFL draft class:
Along with White, Michel has given the Pats a true two-headed monster in the backfield, something they lacked a season ago:
Michel has been listed as limited in practice this week thanks to a knee complaint, per Zack Cox of NESN.com. If he plays, a Chiefs front seven with a bad case of the don’t-want-to-tackle’s will be in trouble.
A bigger problem for Sutton will be eliminating the vertical strikes off play action Brady will be able to hit once the run gets going.
New England’s decision to trade deep threat Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams this offseason looked like self-sabotage. Fortunately, the Pats have made amends by acquiring Josh Gordon from the Cleveland Browns.
Gordon’s 34-yard scoring grab during Week 5’s 38-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts proved the deep ball is back in the Patriots’ playbook. It also helps to have Cordarrelle Patterson, whom Brady and OC Josh McDaniels are already making creative use of out of different looks.
This much speed on the field will mean trouble for a Chiefs D’ leaking big plays at an alarming rate:
The Patriots have too many weapons for a Chiefs defense a shell of its former self to contain. There’s no Marcus Peters to lock down one side of the field at cornerback. Tamba Hali isn’t around anymore to effectively bookend a Justin Houston looking past his best.
The ongoing absence of all-action safety Eric Berry hurts the most.
Sutton just doesn’t have the tools to go into New England and ease the burden on Mahomes.