Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs Preview
The Kansas City Chiefs can claim a fourth consecutive AFC West title with a combination of a win and a loss by the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has thrown only two interceptions in 352 pass attempts this season. He will attempt to help the Chiefs avenge two defeats they suffered last season against the New England Patriots, including a 37-31 overtime loss in the AFC Championship Game.
Mahomes did not touch the ball in OT after the Patriots won the coin toss and guided the Patriots to a touchdown. A leaky Chiefs defense is improving behind the emergence of two offseason acquisitions, defensive end Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu. Clark left last weekâ€™s romp over Oakland with a strained shoulder, but the injury was not considered serious.
New England Patriots Preview
With a win, the New England Patriots would clinch a playoff berth for the 11th consecutive season. The game is a rematch of the AFC Championship Game a year ago, which New England won in overtime after a late Chiefs rally. Despite some struggles, quarterback Tom Brady ranks fifth in the NFL in passing yards on a league-high 486 attempts.
Finding a dependable kicker has become a weekly ordeal for the Patriots, who cut Kai Forbath after he missed a PAT last Sunday in a loss at Houston. At mid-week, New England was still searching for its fifth kicker of the season. The Patriotsâ€™ league-leading turnover differential of plus-18 could cause problems for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who struggled early in both meetings last season.