Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
FOXBOROUGH – Five Super Bowl championships and three NFL Most Valuable Player awards has Tom Brady in the conversation of greatest quarterback of all time, but he may be taking a back seat in his upcoming matchup. Patrick Mahomes is off to a sizzling start to the season and will look to keep the Kansas City Chiefs perfect when they visit the Patriots on Sunday night.
Mahomes leads the NFL with 14 touchdown passes in his first season as a starter and is the talk of the league after guiding Kansas City to a 5-0 start for the second year in a row. “Pretty much everything,” New England coach Bill Belichick said when asked what impresses him about Mahomes. “He gets the ball to all of his receivers quick, quick release, sees things quickly, can extend plays, got a great arm, got a fabulous arm, can throw the ball out of the stadium. He makes good decisions, accurate, gets the ball out on time.” The Patriots have won two straight following a slow start as Brady threw for a season-high 341 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win over Indianapolis to become the third quarterback to reach 500 career scoring passes. “I was a Cowboys fan when I was younger, so being from Texas, I wasn’t necessarily a fan of him winning all the time,” Mahomes said of Brady. “But you definitely respected his game and how he played. When you have that much success, it takes a bunch of hard work, so you respect that.”
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Patriots -3.5. O/U: 59.5
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (5-0): Mahomes failed to throw a scoring pass for the first time and tossed his first two interceptions of the season in last week’s 30-14 win over Jacksonville, but he still threw for over 300 yards for the fourth straight game. Tight end Travis Kelce has a team-high 28 catches and three touchdowns while speedster Tyreek Hill is next with 27 receptions and three scores. Kareem Hunt has come alive with four rushing touchdowns in the last three games and burned New England for 148 yards and a score to lead the Chiefs to a 42-27 win at Gillette Stadium in his NFL debut in 2017. Kansas City forced five turnovers and had five sacks last week, but it allows an NFL-worst 461.8 yards per game.
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (3-2): After a pair of double-digit defeats at Jacksonville and Detroit, New England has found its offensive stride by scoring 38 points in wins over Miami and Indianapolis. The passing game got a lift last week as Julian Edelman (seven catches, 57 yards) returned from a four-game suspension and recent acquisition Josh Gordon made his Patriots debut with two receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown. That opens up more room for tight end Rob Gronkowski and rookie running back Sony Michel, who has scored in each of the past two games while rushing for 210 yards. New England’s defense is middle of the pack against the run and pass and ranks 30th in the league with only 7.0 sacks.
1. Brady can become the first quarterback in history to notch 200 career regular-season wins.
2. Mahomes is bidding to become the sixth QB since 1970 to win each of his first seven career starts.
3. Gronkowski needs three catches to become the fourth tight end with 500 receptions in fewer than 110 games.