New England Patriots vs Kansas City Chiefs Defense/Special Teams Analysis
In the AFC Championship game the New England Patriots will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. Both of these teams rank near the bottom in the NFL in terms of passing yards allowed per game, but with what is projected to be below freezing temperatures that may not matter much in this game. This article will examine the Patriots vs Kansas City Chiefs Defense and their special teams. Let’s dive into the Patriots side first.
New England Patriots Defense
The New England Patriots rank 6th in the NFL in terms of points allowed per game with 20.76 and this week they will be going against the Chiefs offense which has been the highest scoring offenses all season with an average of 35.06 points per game. The Patriots rank 9th in rushing yards allowed per game with 107.24 and will be going against Damien Williams and the Chiefs running game that ranks 11th in the NFL with 119.71 rushing yards per game.
The Patriots did a good job last week limiting Melvin Gordon to 15 yards on 9 carries and only gave up 19 total yards on the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Patriots biggest test will be stopping Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs passing attack. New England ranks 22nd in the NFL in terms of passing yards allowed per game with 250.59 yards while the Chiefs rank 3rd in the NFL with 306.29 passing yards per game. The Patriots allowed Philip River to go 25/51 for 331 yards for 3 touchdowns and 1 interception, but the Chargers were playing from behind for the majority of the game. Devin McCourty leads the Patriots in tackles in the playoffs with 7 total with 5 of them being 5 solo and 2 assisted. Adrian Clayborn and Trey Flowers are tied for the team lead in sacks in the playoffs with 1 apiece. Stephon Gilmore leads the team in interceptions in the playoffs with 1.
New England Patriots Special Teams
Stephen Gostowski remains one of the best kickers in the NFL and is 1/1 from 20-29 and 1/1 from 30-39 field goals in the playoffs and is a perfect 5/5 in extra points as well. Ryan Allen has punted four times in the playoffs and is averaging 43.3 yards per punt with 2 touchbacks, 1 down inside the 20 and a long of 48. Julian Edelman handles the punt return duties and has returned five punts for 37 yards for 7.4 yards and his longest return is 16 yards. Cardarrelle Patterson has one kickoff return in the playoffs for 23 yards.
Kansas City Chiefs Defense
The Kansas City Chiefs defense is allowing 25.53 points per game which ranks 23rd in the NFL and this week they will be going against the New England Patriots whom rank 4th in scoring with 28.06 points per game. The Kansas City Chiefs are allowing 129.71 rushing yards per game which ranks 27th in the NFL and will be going against the 5th best rushing team in the NFL with 128.94 rushing yards per game.
The Chiefs limited Marlon Mack to 46 yards on 9 attempts and allowed 87 yards on the ground last week to the Colts. The Kansas City Chiefs rank 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game with 267.41 yards and will be going against Tom Brady and the Patriots passing attack that ranks 6th in the NFL in terms of passing yards allowed per game with 270.65. They limited Andrew Luck to 19/26 for 203 yards and a touchdown last week and if they are able to do the same against Tom Brady it would go a long way in picking up the win on the way to the Super Bowl. Anthony Hitchens leads the team in tackles in the playoffs with 7 total with 4 being solo and 3 being assisted. Justin Houston leads the team in sacks in the playoffs with 2.
Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams
Harrison Butker was 24/27 field goals in the regular season with a long of 54. He is 1/1 from 30-39 in the playoffs and a perfect 4/4 in extra points. Dustin Colquitt averaged 44.9 yards per punt with 5 touchbacks and 21 downed inside the 20 during the regular season. He has punted the ball three times in the playoffs with an average of 36.7 with 2 being downed inside the 20 and a long of 50. Tyreek Hill handles the punt return duties and has had 5 opportunities in the playoffs. He has 6 yards for an average of 1.2 yards and a long of 4 yards on a return. Tremon Smith has had two chance to return kicks in the playoffs which he has gained 39 yards and is averaging 19.5 yards with a long of 23 in the playoffs.