New England is still a 3-point favorite at home in the NFL week 14 Chiefs at Patriots free pick but Bill Belichick’s team doesn’t have the confidence it once did. The Pats’ suffered their second loss of the season last week at Houston and are having some real offensive identity problems as of late.
That being saiid, the Chiefs are coming to Foxboro on Sunday afternoon and their issues lie on the defensive side of the ball. Does KC have enough offense to travel to where the Patriots have gone 5-0 on the year and get the win – or at least keep it within 3 points?
Mahomes Isn’t Afraid of New England
Patrick Mahomes on paper looks like he’s had a rough couple weeks throwing for just 182 and 174 yards the last two. The Chiefs are 2-0 over that span though and Mahomes hasn’t really been needed in a 40-9 pounding of Oakland last week and with the defense pick off Phillip Rivers 4 time the game before that.
Mahomes can still turn it on when he needs to, throwing for 446 and 3 scores in the 35-32 loss at Tennessee 3 games ago. New England has the #2 pass defense in the league, but Mahomes had 295 with 3/0 in the AFC championship game a year ago vs. the Patriots and 352, 4/2 at Foxboro in the regular season meeting last October. The Patriots did do a good job of shutting down Travis Kelce in the two games last year (8 catches, 84 yards total). Tyreek Hill blew up in the regular season game (7 catches, 142 yards, 3TD) but had just 3-42 in the AFC Championship.
New England’s offense has struggled, but enough to continue to lack scoring vs. the Chiefs? KC held Oakland to 9 points last week at Arrowhead, but gave up 345 yards passing and 19 carries for 93 yards in a win at the Chargers in their last road game. When KC traveled the game before, the Titans had 26 carries for 225 yards rushing.
Sky Isn’t Falling in New England
For about the last 15 years, every time ‘experts’ think New England is ‘done’ they go out and put on a dominant performance in a game like the NFL week 14 Chiefs at Patriots free pick. Yes, Belichick’s team suffered a loss to the Texans last week that really wasn’t as close as the 22-28 final score. That being said, it brought the Patriots record to a still very impressive 10-2, and they are 5-0 at Foxboro on the season.
Now, to the big thing that may actually be of cause for concern for NE – their offense.It took two Tom Brady TD passes with under 4 minutes left vs. the Texans’ prevent defense for the Patriots to avoid being held to 20 points or less for the 4th straight game. New England ranks 21st in the league vs. the rush but still has a top 8 passing attack.
Also, on to the good things on New England’s side on Sunday afternoon. New England’s defense held Philadelphia to 10 and Dallas to 9 points in the two games prior to the Texans loss. The Patriots’ #2 defense held the Texans to 16 first downs in that game (NE 29) and Houston ran the ball 23 times for just 52 yards. Even in the loss to the Ravens a month ago, Lamar Jackson was just 17/23 for 163 yards.
NFL Week 14 Chiefs at Patriots Free Pick
Hard to go against New England at home, especially with how their defense is playing this year. Brady should be able to exploit KC’s very soft defensive unit and the Patriots could even possibly get a running game going on Sunday afternoon.
Pick: New England Patriots -3