2016 NFL Playoffs
AFC Divisional Playoffs
#5 Kansas City Chiefs at #2 New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, Massachusetts
Saturday, January 16, 2016, 4:35 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: New England -4 1/2
Current Line: New England -5 (-105)
Opening Total: 45 1/2
Current Total: 42
Opening Money Line: Patriots -240 / Chiefs +200
Current Money Line: Patriots -230 / Chiefs +190
The 12-5 Kansas City Chiefs have won 11 straight games after a 1-5 start. The Chiefs finished a game behind the Denver Broncos in the AFC West and were the #5 seed in the playoffs. Kansas City crushed the AFC South Champion Houston Texans 30-0 last week in the Wild Card playoffs in Houston. Next up, is a trip to Foxboro to take on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots Saturday in the Divisional playoffs.
The 12-4 Patriots started off the season 10-0 but some injuries to key skill position players led to a 2-4 record in the last 6 games. New England still won the AFC East, but finished in a three way tie for the best record in the AFC with the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals. Denver won the three way tie breaker with New England as the #2 seed and Cincinnati as the #3 seed. The winner between the Patriots and Chiefs with either play the Broncos or Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game next week.
Kansas City leads the series 17-13-3 against New England. Somewhat surprisingly, these two original AFL teams have never met in the playoffs before. The Chiefs won the last meeting 41-14 at home in 2014. That game was memorable because New England quarterback Tom Brady was benched in that game and some thought it would be the end of his career as the starter. Brady would start for the rest of the season and lead the Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl championship.
Kansas City is coached by Andy Reid. The Chiefs have home losses to the Broncos 31-24 and Chicago Bears 18-17, plus road losses at the Green Bay Packers 38-28, Cincinnati Bengals 36-21 and Minnesota Vikings 16-10. After beating the Texans 27-20 in week one, KC lost five straight games before the current winning streak. The Chiefs have home wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-13, Buffalo Bills 30-22, San Diego Chargers 10-3, Cleveland Browns 17-13 and Oakland Raiders 23-17. Kansas City has road wins over the Broncos 29-13, Chargers 33-3, Raiders 34-20, and Baltimore Ravens 34-14, plus a win over the Detroit Lions 45-10 in London.
Kansas City was a 3 point favorite against Houston last week and the total was 39. The Chiefs ran back the opening kickoff 106 yards for a touchdown. They would take a 13-0 lead into halftime. Kansas City cruised to the 30-0 win for their first playoff win since 1993. Houston had 226 yards to 314 for Kansas City. The difference was Houston had five turnovers to just one for Kansas City. The Chiefs are 9-8 ATS and the total is 8-8-1 this season.
New England is coached by Bill Belichick. The Patriots have home wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21, Jacksonville Jaguars 51-17, New York Jets 30-23, Miami Dolphins 36-7, Washington Redskins 27-10, Buffalo Bills 20-13 and Tennessee Titans 33-16. New England has road wins over the Bills 40-32, Dallas Cowboys 30-6, Indianapolis Colts 34-27, New York Giants 27-26 and Texans 27-6. The Patriots have road losses at the Broncos 30-24, Jets 26-20, and Dolphins 20-10 two weeks ago, plus a home loss against the Philadelphia Eagles 35-28. The Patriots have lost two straight games.
New England was a 10 point favorite against Miami in the regular season finale and the total was 46.5. Miami took a 10-3 lead into halftime, but New England would tie it up at 10 going into the fourth. The Dolphins scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to seal the upset. The Patriots had 196 total yards to 438 for the Dolphins. New England is 7-7-2 ATS and the total is 9-7 this season.
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Kansas City is outscoring teams 25-18 this season. The Chiefs are #9 in scoring and #3 in points allowed. The Chiefs are averaging 331 total yards per game on offense including 203 passing and 128 rushing yards. Kansas City is #27 in total offense, #30 in passing and #6 in rushing. On defense, KC is allowing 329 yards per game including 231 passing and 98 rushing yards per game. The Chiefs are in the top 10 in all three categories. Kansas City is 82/208 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 85/244. The Chiefs have forced 47 sacks and allowed 46 this season. The Chiefs are +14 in turnovers. Kansas City has scored six defensive touchdowns and allowed two this season.
Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith has completed 65.3% of his passes for 3,486 yards with 20 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, and also has 84 carries for 498 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has taken all but two snaps this season despite being sacked 45 times. Chase Daniel is the back-up.
Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles tore his ACL and is out for the season. Charles had 71 carries for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown before the injury. Charcandrick West has taken over as the feature back. He has 160 carries for 634 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 20 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown. Spencer Ware has 72 carries for 403 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 6 catches. He is probable with an ankle injury. Knile Davis has 28 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown, along with 2 catches for 24 yards.
Receiver Jeremy Maclin has 87 catches for 1,088 yards and 8 touchdowns. He is questionable with an ankle injury. Tight end Travis Kelce has 72 catches for 875 yards and 5 touchdowns. Albert Wilson has 35 catches for 451 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chris Conley has 17 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown. Receiver De’Anthony Thomas and tight end James O’Shaughnessy are both on injured reserve. Four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.
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New England is outscoring teams 29-20 this season. The Patriots are #3 in scoring and are #10 in points allowed. New England averages 374 total yards per game including 287 passing and 88 rushing yards per game. The Patriots are #6 or better in total offense and passing offense, but #30 in rushing. On defense, the Patriots allow 339 total yards per game including 241 passing and 99 rushing yards. The Patriots are #9 against the rush and in total defense. New England is 97/240 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 92/243. The Patriots have forced 49 sacks and allowed 38 this season. New England is +7 in turnovers and has allowed 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season. The Patriots have scored two defensive touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Tom Brady is having another MVP caliber season. He has completed 64.4% of his passes for 4,770 yards with 36 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 53 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable with an ankle injury.
Running back LeGarrette Blount has 165 carries for 703 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. He is out for the season with a hip injury. Dion Lewis has 49 carries for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 36 catches for 388 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out for the season with a torn ACL. Brandon Bolden has 63 catches for 207 yards, along with 19 catches for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. James White, Joey Iosefa and Steven Jackson will also get some carries.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski has 72 catches for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdown catches. He is a gametime decision with knee and back injuries. Receiver Julian Edelman has 61 catches for 692 yards and seven touchdowns, along with 23 rushing yards. He is probable after missing the last seven games with a broken foot. Danny Amendola has 65 catches for 648 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury. Brandon LaFell has 37 catches for 515 yards. White has 40 catches for 410 yards with 4 touchdowns. Tight end Scott Chandler has 23 catches for 259 yards and 4 touchdowns. Aaron Dobson, Brandon Gibson, and Brandon Tyms are all out for the season. Twelve defensive players and three offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.
Kansas City is 5-0 ATS in road games, 4-0 after allowing less than 250 total yards, 9-3 after allowing less than 15 points, 8-3 overall, 5-2 after a cover, 7-3 after a straight up win and against AFC teams, 3-7 in Saturday games, 2-5 against teams with winning home records, and on fieldturf, 2-7 after allowing less than 150 passing yards, and 1-6 in playoff games. The under is 4-1 in this series recently.
New England is 4-1-2 ATS at home, 12-3-2 against teams with winning road records, 23-7 after gaining less than 250 total yards, 17-7-2 after passing for less than 150 yards, 7-3-2 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 36-17-1 after a straight up loss, 5-11 in playoff games, 4-9 in home playoff games, 2-5 in Saturday games, 2-5-1 overall, 1-3-1 on fieldturf, 0-4-2 against teams with winning records, and 0-3-1 after rushing for less than 90 yards.
Getting Edelman and Amendola back will help, but the Patriots are still ravaged by injuries on both sides of the ball. Kansas City is relatively healthy except for Maclin. Still, I just can’t bet against Brady Belichick at home in the playoffs even against a team that has won 11 straight games.
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