The Patriots are set to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round this Saturday at Gillette Stadium for the first time since that infamous Monday Night blowout in Kansas City early last season.
One might not like to relive that night, but for the Patriots, they are using footage from that game to prepare for this weekend. Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels spoke about Kansas City and the challenges they present.
"They force you into a lot of bad football," Brady said Monday in his weekly appearance on sports radio WEEI. "And they have guys offensively [so they can] control the clock, they run the ball a lot. They have a very good quarterback [Alex Smith] who plays very efficiently. That's what they did to us, and that's been a winning formula for a long time."
The Chiefs have a very good defense, which is very well known. They're fourth in the NFL with 29 takeaways, so they're a very stingy unit.
"They play very good defense, they rush the quarterback, they get ahead, they play on their terms," Brady said on WEEI. "They do a lot of things effectively, and schematic-wise, they present problems for an offense.
"Then if you get a little hesitant back there as a quarterback, they force you into mistakes. They have a lot of playmakers on defense ... so you really can't fall asleep for one play or else it's a turnover, and if it's a turnover, they turn those into points. Then you get behind and it's a one-dimensional game, and it just snowballs. That's the kind of team they are ... so we have to figure out a formula to beat them."
Josh McDaniels on KC: "We expect this to be the best defense that we've played."— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) January 11, 2016
All this being said, the Patriots will be the best team the Chiefs will have faced during their hot streak. The Patriots team we'll see Saturday should more closely resemble the team that started 10-0, as New England is set to have a litany of it's key players return to the lineup.
Julian Edelman, Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Sebastian Vollmer, Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung will all either be returning from injury. McCourty and Chung played in Week 17 against the Dolphins but were clearly hobbled, so the extra rest hopefully has helped.
Without Edelman and other weapons Brady has relied on throughout the season, the Patriots' offensive numbers took a dive. But Brady has still carried on and had a better season in 2015 statistically than he did a year ago when they won the Super Bowl.
Amazing to think he did that without so many key weapons through parts of November and December.
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