BELICHICK VS. REID
The most fascinating element of tonight's matchup is the battle between the league's most brilliant defensive mind (Bill Belichick) and its most innovative offensive coach (Andy Reid).
Reid enters with a distinct advantage: He's got better players on offense than Belichick has on defense. Belichick cannot devise a scheme that will completely shut down the Chiefs. They're too loaded across the board, too diverse a unit. Belichick's defenses are famous for taking away an opponent's primary strength. For example, when the Pats face the Texans, they make sure DeAndre Hopkins doesn't beat them (he's never totaled more than 78 yards in six career games versus New England). But it's hard to identify Kansas City's primary strength because, well, every position is a strength.
Do the Pats want to devote extra coverage over the middle against tight end Travis Kelce and take their chances on the outside in some one-on-one situations? Do they want to play two deep safeties — or maybe use Duron Harmon as the traditional free safety and Devin McCourty in a “robber” role — and go extra light in the box? Or will Belichick assign McCourty to Kelce and use Patrick Chung on a running back?
Belichick must make some difficult decisions.
And Reid, as always, will have some exotic formations and playcalls ready to go. The last time these teams met, Reid caught the Patriots by surprise when he sent Kareem Hunt deep down the middle of the field for what ended up being a 78yard touchdown pass.