Brady and Gronk faces a major test

Who Will Win AFC Battle Between Patriots And Chiefs?

The Kansas City Chiefs travel to face the New England Patriots in a game that will have huge implications in the playoff race in the AFC Conference.

The Chiefs last entered Gillette Stadium in the opening match of the 2017 campaign, stunning Bill Belichick’s men with a 42-27 hammering.

Kansas City looked to be the elite team in the AFC Conference racing to a 5-0 record. However, they collapsed during the middle of the campaign, which paved the way for the Patriots to snatch the number one seed and return to the Super Bowl.

Patrick Mahomes was installed as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback this term. His outstanding form has resulted in the club making a second-straight 5-0 start. The test comes now against the Patriots whether Andy Reid’s men are finally ready to seize the initiative to take control of the AFC.

New England have bounced back after a slow start to the term. They’ve scored 38 points in both of their last two matches to see off the Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts. Tom Brady is starting connect with his wideouts, which will ease the pressure on the defense to stop Mahomes.

Brady and Gronk faces a major test

New England Patriots

The Patriots are on their way back to form after suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time in six years. Defeats to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions dropped the club to 1-2 in their campaign, but New England responded with dominant performances to beat the Dolphins and the Colts. The return of Julian Edelman sparked rhythm in Brady’s play against Indianapolis as the Patriots eased their way down the field with ease to score for the first time of the term on their opening possession. Their problems are not solved completely as Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan dropped simple passes that led to interceptions.

Belichick will know that his side cannot afford to make mistakes against the Chiefs. On the other hand they’re going to have make plenty of plays to keep pace with Mahomes. Josh Gordon announced himself on the scene by becoming the 71st player to catch a touchdown pass from Brady, who reached his 500th touchdown in the process. Expect Brady to find the endzone a lot more with Gordon over the course of the season, including Sunday night against Kansas City.

New England’s defense were cut open with ease by Alex Smith last season, while a similar offense led by Nick Foles hammered them in the Super Bowl. The Patriots struggle with teams of the Chiefs ilk which leaves them exposed to a difficult evening on Sunday against Mahomes. Devin McCourty has been a stalwart of the defense for eight years. However, he has shown signs of decline, conceding two touchdowns in coverage to the Colts. The Patriots cannot afford to carry any passengers in their bid to stop the Chiefs. Their lack of athleticism at linebacker could be an issue, which will heap pressure on Brady and their offense to be flawless on the other side of the ball.

Kansas City Chiefs

This is a vital game for the Chiefs. Under Reid they’ve been a solid outfit, but have lacked the ability to win matches in big moments. It’s the reason why they’ve not reached the Super Bowl in their current run, although the move to start Mahomes this season has paid dividends already. Last term Smith guided his team to a 5-0 start, only for the Chiefs to fall off during the middle stretch of the season, forcing them into the Wildcard Round in the post-season where they were beaten by the Tennessee Titans. The goal for the Chiefs has to be the number one seed. To achieve that goal they have to be able to travel to Foxborough and knock off the Patriots. They were able to hammer New England last season, although the pressure was off as few expected them to win the opener. On this occasion Reid’s men have an opportunity to make a statement.

After his electric start to the season, Mahomes’ golden arm has been stymied over the past two weeks. The 23-year-old threw 13 touchdowns in the opening three weeks of the campaign, but during his last two matches he’s thrown just one strike, while he was intercepted twice by the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense on home soil. Mahomes has still driven his side downfield with ease, averaging over 300 yards a game. However, the test will be whether he can put the points on the board to go toe-to-toe with the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt have the athleticism to trouble the Patriots and Mahomes needs to ensure that his side expose their weaknesses.

Kansas City’s defense has to channel the example set by the Philadelphia Eagles from the Super Bowl. They’re not going to be able to stop Brady, especially with the way they’ve been playing. The unit does have playmakers in the form of Chris Jones and Dee Ford on the defensive line. Justin Houston and Eric Berry will miss the contest, leaving them short of depth. Their key men need to rise to the occasion and make the one play that could swing the game in Kansas City’s favour.

Betting Options

The Patriots are starting to find their form. Traditionally in October New England begin to hit their stride to take command of the AFC. Kansas City have had their strong start to the campaign, but the ultimate test of their credentials whether they can see off an improving Patriots team. History says that Belichick’s sides tend to improve as the season progresses whereas Reid’s teams of the past tend to peter out after their impressive opening bursts. Expect the Patriots to continue their trend of improving, although it should be a shootout between two fine teams. Take New England to win the contest at odds of -170   with Bovada. Given the close nature of the contest, it’s probably wise to take the +1.5 spread for the Chiefs at +130   with 888Sport – this game should go down to the wire. The over/under line has been set at 59.5 points for the contest and due to the quality of both offenses on display take the over at -110   with BetOnline.

Gronkowski has been held out of the endzone since week one of the campaign. For a player that usually dominates the scoring charts, he only has one touchdown to his name this term. Back him to end his drought anytime against the Chiefs at odds of +100   with 888Sport. The Patriots will set their stall out to stop the Chiefs’ weapons in the redzone. Kelce, Hill and Hunt will draw their majority of their attention. It could open up a score for Sammy Watkins anytime at odds of +175   with 888Sport. Take Brady and Mahomes both to find the endzone with touchdown passes three times in the match at odds of -105   and +110   respectively, although back Brady to emerge with one more strikes than his rival at +115   with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

New England Patriots To Beat Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday 14th October 2018 20:20 ET (Monday 15th October 01:20 BST)
Odds: -170

Kansas City Chiefs +1.5 Spread
Sunday 14th October 2018 20:20 ET (Monday 15th October 01:20 BST)
Odds: +130

Over 59.5 Points To Be Scored
Sunday 14th October 2018 20:20 ET (Monday 15th October 01:20 BST)
Odds: -110

Rob Gronkowski To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 14th October 2018 20:20 ET (Monday 15th October 01:20 BST)
Odds: +100

Sammy Watkins To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 14th October 2018 20:20 ET (Monday 15th October 01:20 BST)
Odds: +175

Tom Brady To Throw Over 2.5 Touchdowns
Sunday 14th October 2018 20:20 ET (Monday 15th October 01:20 BST)
Odds: -105

Patrick Mahomes To Throw Over 2.5 Touchdowns
Sunday 14th October 2018 20:20 ET (Monday 15th October 01:20 BST)
Odds: +110

Tom Brady To Throw More Touchdowns Than Patrick Mahomes
Sunday 14th October 2018 20:20 ET (Monday 15th October 01:20 BST)
Odds: +115

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