BIG PLAYS

Boston Herald - - GAMEDAY PREVIEW -

The Chiefs are rip­ping off long gains at an un­prece­dented rate. They have racked up 27 plays of 20-plus yards through five games.

For years, the sta­ple of the Pa­tri­ots de­fense has been its abil­ity to limit big plays. So what gives? The Pa­tri­ots can de­sign a de­fense to limit those op­por­tu­ni­ties. That would likely mean al­low­ing Pa­trick Ma­homes to find some easy com­ple­tions un­der­neath.

“You cer­tainly don't want to give it all to them in one play,” Belichick said.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Pats, the Chiefs have the abil­ity to turn high-per­cent­age throws — wide re­ceiver screens, shal­low cross­ing routes, etc. — into mas­sive gains, too. So tak­ing proper an­gles will be ex­tra im­por­tant tonight.

As Belichick said, de­fenses “hope it's 10 yards” when Tyreek Hill touches the ball. “He can take those slip screens and go 80 yards,” Belichick said. “Yeah, it's a prob­lem. If you play off him, you give him too much space. Play up on him, he gets be­hind you. He's a hard guy to de­fend. The quar­ter­back can throw it deep. He stretches the whole field. They have a lot of run-pass op­tion plays. If you stop the run, you're light out­side. If you're heavy out­side, you're light in­side.”

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