FBG says: Neutral matchup. The Patriots passing offense over the last four games has been struggling mightily. While Tom Brady threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns last week, that was mostly in garbage time when the game was already out of hand as this was a unit that struggled for most of the game completing just 51% of their passes. Brady has completed 55% or fewer in three consecutive games and while the first two of those three were mostly written off as weather games, the lack of production is starting to become a concern for the Patriots who are desperately trying to find a second receiving option outside of Julien Edelman. While Mohamed Sanu was active, he played just 22% of the plays for the Patriots and caught just three passes for 14 yards as the Patriots are still trying to find a way to get a return on their trade for a second-round pick earlier this year. Philip Dorsett, Jacobi Meyers, and N'Keal Harry all struggled as well as they had a total of just five receptions amongst the three of them on 14 targets. The Patriots turned heavily to James White in the second half while trying to mount a comeback, and if the receiving troubles continue one would have to question whether the Patriots just have to keep White on the field at a rate much higher than the 40% that he is seeing now.
The Chiefs pass defense has been one of the bright spots on the season. While it is not a shut-down unit, it is a unit that has been much improved compared to 2018 where it was one of the worst units in football. The Chiefs have allowed the 17th most yards to quarterbacks per game at 253, and the 17th most touchdowns with 1.5 per game. This is a unit that has allowed just three teams to throw for 300 yards on the year two of which were in garbage time performances in Jacksonville and the Chargers. At the cornerback position, they are by no means an elite unit, but one that has been consistent with very little weaknesses, but the real story has been the play of their safeties as Juan Thornhill and Tyrann Mathieu both have been strong in coverage this season. If there is a weakness in this passing game it is the linebackers covering running backs. On the year, no team has allowed more receiving yards to running backs than the Chiefs as Anthony Hitchens and the linebacking group has struggled for most of the season.