AFC Championship Game Preview: Patriots (11-5) vs. Chiefs (12-4)

The chess match between Andy Reid’s Offense and Bill Belichick’s Defense is always a fun one to watch. When these teams met in Week 6, Belichick threw a lot at Pat Mahomes to try and get him out of rhythm. It worked, at least in the first half. The Chiefs got back into the game via big plays, a Tom Brady turnover, and a 97-yard kick return. In that previous matchup, the Patriots attacked Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill with double teams. With Kareem Hunt now gone, we anticipate the Patriots to be even more persistent in their attempts to take these two play-makers away via double-teams and disrupting them at the line of scrimmage. Andy Reid will need to make sure he is ensuring free releases for Tyreek Hill, who can influence what a defense does as much as any player in the league.

When the Patriots have the ball, one thing is absolutely clear – the Chiefs cannot take the same approach against Brady that the Chargers did a week ago. Soft zone = defeat against the Patriots Offense. K.C. will need to make sure they disrupt Patriots receivers at the line of scrimmage and mix coverages, something we did see them do against the Colts in the Divisional Round. Handling the Patriots’ assortment of runs will also be critical to K.C.’s success.

Check out how these teams match up below:

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