Chiefs-Patriots preview, prediction, and keys to victory
Here are some numbers and rankings you might see as graphic information on the Chiefs-Patriots broadcast (Channel 41, KCFX, 101.1 FM) from Foxborough, Mass.
Consecutive victories by Patriots in home openers.
Consecutive victories by Chiefs in road openers
Ranking of Bill Belichick and Andy Reid on the career victory list among current NFL coaches. Including postseason games, Belichick owns 263 victories, Reid 184. Third is the Bears’ Jon Fox with 136.
In season openers, Belichick is 15-7, Reid 10-8. Belichick’s five Super Bowl victories are the most by any NFL head coach, and another banner will be hoisted tonight to commemorate the Patriots’ incredible comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in last season’s Super Bowl.
The next-to-toughest schedule in the NFL belongs to the Chiefs, based on opponents’ 2016 won-loss record. The top four spots belong to AFC West teams (Broncos are first), confirming the difficulty of the division. The Chiefs, Chargers and Bengals meet 11 playoff teams from 2016, most in the NFL.
That makes tonight’s game perhaps more important to the the playoff-aspiring Chiefs when it comes to postseason seeding. Tonight’s winner will have the head-to-head tie-breaker advantage, then the Chiefs continue the season in what appears to be the more difficult division.
Tom Brady vs. AFC in regular-season games since 2007. In the only loss, Week 17 of 2014, Brady was pulled at halftime. But the Pats have lost three home playoff games in that span, twice to the Ravens (2009, 2011) and to the Jets (2010). Does tonight’s game feel like a playoff?
Interceptions by Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters over the past two seasons, the most in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Paters has been the NFL’s top play-making cornerback over the past two seasons. The Patriots’ Malcolm Butler ranks second.
Seeding in last season’s playoffs, with the Patriots first. If the seeds held, the teams would have met in Foxborough for the AFC Championship. The Chiefs didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, falling to the Steelers in the division round.
No. 1, No. 9
The power rankings of the Patriots and Chiefs by NFL.com.
11-0 and 3-4
Recent Patriots’ records without Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. The Pats were undefeated in 2016, including the postseason, with Gronkowski out with a back injury. In 2015, New England had a losing record when Edelman went down with a broken foot. Eldeman is out for this season with a torn ACL.
1 and 2
Patriots, Chiefs ranking in regular-season records over past two seasons. The Pats are 26-6, the Chiefs 23-9.
NFL ranking of fewest average points allowed since 2013, when Reid joined the Chiefs. The Chiefs have allowed 18.5 points per game, the Patriots 19.0. The Seahawks lead the NFL at 16.5 points.