BELICHICK VS. REID

Boston Herald - - GAMEDAY PREVIEW -

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.

BILL BELICHICK

ANDY REID

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