Cam Newton and the New England Patriots will be taking a flight halfway across the country for a Sunday afternoon matchup with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City has been proclaimed “God’s Gift to the NFL” after a dominating victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Going into that matchup, I thought there was more hype than realism in Baltimore. That turned out to be true as Andy Reid’s Chiefs looked like sixth graders in the school yard beating up on some fourth graders in a game of two hand touch. This is old news though…
Kansas City looked good and Vegas agreed. This week they’ll be hosting the Pats at Arrowhead Stadium and the odds have them at a seven-point favorite over the best team in football in the past twenty years.
Vegas putting the Pats as seven-point underdogs is pretty disrespectful considering what Belichick has done in his time with this team and how they’ve looked so far this season. Do they look as solid as Kansas City? No, but we’re talking about the Patriots and you should never disrespect New England.
Three Times in Eighteen Years
The Pats have only been a seven-point underdog three times since they won Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. The two previous times to this Sunday were against the Texans in 2010 and versus the Cardinals in 2016.
In 2010, Tom Brady was serving a suspension and Jimmy G led the Pats to a 23-21 victory. In 2009, it was week 17 of the regular season and the Pats had already determined their playoff fate. Therefore, they didn’t play most of their starters and got beat by seven.
If you really think about it, the Pats haven’t been true seven-point underdogs since they won the world title in 2002.
The interesting part about this matchup is that Arrowhead will only be at 25% capacity so that makes me think that if the stadium was filled, would the Pats be even larger underdogs heading into Sunday’s contest?
NEVER disrespect New England
The Pats are figuring out what their new identity is going to be in the post Tom Brady era. Cam Newton has looked solid thus far. He started the season a little shaky, had a great outing in Seattle, and then was average at home against Oakland this past Sunday.
He’s figuring out a new scheme, but has shown everyone that he has the ability to be dangerous as the season moves forward. I don’t think there would be a better time for Cam to make a statement than on the road this Sunday.
The thing about the Patriots is that they know how to win. Tom Brady wasn’t the only reason the Pats were dominant for so long and they’ve been proving this throughout the first three weeks of the regular season.
James White doesn’t play and Rex Burkhead steps right up to fill his shoes. That’s just one example from this season thus far highlighting New England as a team. To take the field in New England, you need to be a team player and that culture is what has kept this team on top for so long.
What Does this Mean?
The Pats will need to be stellar to have a chance to win this Sunday in Kansas City. Even though they have to bring their A game, don’t be surprised if they show up on Sunday and give the Chiefs all that they can handle.
The Patriots have a top ranked defense which they will need to contain Mahomes and they have a great offensive line with a former MVP quarterback.
I don’t know if this statement will mean that the Pats leave Arrowhead victorious on Sunday, but they will show that they are still one of the best franchises the league has ever seen.
Personally, when I see Bill Belichick’s back up against the wall, I don’t think there’s a better time to bet on the Pats.
You heard it here first: New England will be giving Kansas City their first loss of the season on Sunday.