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Game Predictions: Expert picks for Patriots vs. Chiefs

20191206-ExpertPredictions-PDC

Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 14 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mike Reiss, ESPN:

Pick: Patriots 27, Chiefs 24

After running for 176 yards in last season's AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs, which came after rushing for 173 yards against them in the 2018 regular season, the Patriots could lean again toward more of a ground-based approach -- even though the Chiefs have a completely different defensive scheme under first-year coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The Pats would clinch a playoff berth with a win, while the Chiefs can lock up the AFC West with a win and a Raiders loss.

Adam Teicher, ESPN

Pick: Chiefs 27, Patriots 24

Bold prediction: The Chiefs will intercept Tom Brady twice. Kansas City has six interceptions in its past two games, albeit against struggling quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Derek Carr. Brady is an upgrade in competition, but the Chiefs are on a roll defensively.

Mike Golic, ESPN: Chiefs

Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots

Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots

Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots

Trey Wingo, ESPN: Chiefs

Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots

Matt Bowen, ESPN: Chiefs

Mike Clay, ESPN: Patriots

Louis Riddick, ESPN: Chiefs

Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com

Pick: Patriots 23, Chiefs 22

It's disarming how much this matchup has changed since the AFC Championship Game in January. The Chiefs now have a pass defense for the Patriots to worry about, while K.C.'s passing attack has looked vulnerable and disjointed since Patrick Mahomes returned from injury, more reliant on individual magic than ever. A Patriots win would all but guarantee their 10th straight playoff bye. A Patriots loss would signal an 0-3 record against AFC division leaders, all led by young mobile quarterbacks, a changing-of-the-guard narrative so on-the-nose it seems scripted. I give New England a slight edge at home because Bill Belichick built the defense of his dreams specifically to slow this Chiefs team, in this game. (And the next time they play.) Look for the Patriots' steadily-improving running game to be the difference. An ugly game favors the home team with the more precise coach, just like it did for Belichick back in the early 2000s, when Andy Reid's teams were also often falling just short.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:

Pick: Patriots 31, Chiefs 27

This should be a fun rematch of the AFC Championship Game from last January. The Patriots are struggling on offense, but I don't think that will be the case here. Look for Tom Brady to change that in this one. I think he will outplay Patrick Mahomes as the Patriots win an important game.

Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Chiefs

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Chiefs

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Chiefs

John Breech, CBS Sports: Chiefs

Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Patriots

Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Patriots

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 24, Chiefs 20

Go ahead and write off the Patriots.

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 20, Chiefs 17

The AFC Championship Game rematch will be a lower-scoring game than it was when these teams met in January, but he result will be the same, the Patriots winning a close one.

Jenny Vrentas, MMQB: Patriots

Conor Orr, MMQB: Patriots

Kalyn Kahler, MMQB: Chiefs

Andrew Brandt, MMQB: Patriots

Mitch Goldich, MMQB: Chiefs

Bette Marston, MMQB: Patriots

Andy Hart, WEEI

Pick: Chiefs 27, Patriots 17

The Patriots haven't lost at home in more than two years. Haven't lost a home game against an AFC foe with Brady and Edelman playing together in far longer than that. But those numbers don't tell the story of the Patriots current situation. Kansas City hits town getting healthier and feeling better about a late-season uptick on both sides of the ball. The Patriots will almost certainly try to run the ball early and probably often. If they can do that it will limit the scoring and keep Mahomes, Hill, Kelce and the rest on the sideline. It will be interesting if Michel and the Patriots' line – with James Ferentz now in the middle of the action at center – are ready to get the job done. It's hard to have much faith in the Patriots passing attack right now, even against a suspect Chiefs pass defense. It's on the running game in this one. Defensively, it's not very realistic to expect the Patriots to dominate Mahomes and the Chiefs talent the way the unit did against the likes of the Dolphins, Jets or Giants earlier in the year. They should be competitive, but they are going to give up plays and points. Maybe this is alarmist, reactionary picking here, but in the end this feels like it has the potential for a 27-17 win for the Chiefs.

Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:

Pick: Chiefs 27, Patriots 23

Chiefs offense is just hitting its stride while the Patriots have struggled to put points on the board. Turnovers will be vital to the Patriots chances.

Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 28, Chiefs 27

The Patriots have had a knack for putting their best games together when it seems like the tide has finally turned against them. Being back at home and past last week's illness should raise expectations. The defense and special teams might have to lead the way again but the offense should find more success than they had last week in Houston. Patriots weather an early storm from the Chiefs and follow their ground game to a close victory.

Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com

Pick: Chiefs 24, Patriots 17

It's been a difficult month for the Patriots, losing to a pair of quality teams and (barely) beating two mediocre ones. Another good team comes to Foxborough this weekend, and it'll be another tough test. Unless New England is able to run the ball effectively, create turnovers on defense, and perhaps get a score on special teams, the Patriots will be hard-pressed to win this one. Only two of the three happen, and it's not enough this weekend.

Megan O'Brien, Patriots.com

Pick: Patriots 27, Chiefs 24

Patriots defense creates a turnover early in the game that sets up a touchdown. The turnover shifts the momentum of the game in the Patriots favor. Sony Michel has some success rushing in the red zone. Patriots edge the Chiefs 27-24.

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