After a week spent with some self-scouting, healing and waiting, New England now knows the challenge it will face this Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots will host the Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff, thanks to Kansas City's domination over the Texans and Pittsburgh's crazy victory over the Bengals.
The Boston Globe says the Chiefs are the worst possible opponent for the Patriots. Globe columnist Chris Gasper says that if New England is to advance to its fifth straight AFC title game it will have to do it the hard way with a victory over the formidable Chiefs. The paper notes Bill Belichick saying he'll definitely study last year’s embarrassing loss in Kansas City that helped ignite a New England Super Bowl run.
The Globe says the Patriots aren't worried about a lack of a running game, though the unit is now led by the late arrival of Steven Jackson. Tom Brady's diet is all the talk these days.
The Boston Herald compares the Patriots focus with the lack of control the Bengals showed in an embarrassing loss on Wild Card Weekend. The *Herald *notes that the Chiefs will be a problem if the Patriots “don’t show up.” There will be plenty of talk about New England’s September 2014 loss in Kansas City.
The Providence Journal says the Patriots will have their hands full with a Chiefs team that has won 11 games in a row. Another look back at the 2014 loss in Kansas City that left New England at a crossroads.
ESPNBoston.com passes along Brady talking about the Chiefs “winning formula.” The site notes that Brady and Julian Edelman have been putting in extra time behind the scenes as the receiver works to return from a broken foot. ESPNBoston.com breaks down a Kansas City team with five Pro Bowl players and a “stingy D.”
WEEI.com offers up five early thoughts on the Chiefs. WEEI.com notes that Chiefs leading receiver Jeremy Maclin is a question mark on Saturday due to a high ankle sprain suffered against Houston. WEEI.com columnist John Tomase also says the Bengals meltdown against Pittsburgh is something we’ll likely never see out of the Patriots.
CSNNE.com says the Chiefs are a different team now than the one that blew out the Patriots last September. Noted CSNNE.com contrarian Michael Felger says it was a choke of a weekend for the NFL playoffs.
NFL.com has a primer for this coming weekend’s playoff games, including the Chiefs visit to New England.
NESN.com notes that Belichick says the blueprint for beating a Chiefs team that’s won 11 in a row, “doesn’t exist.”
Flipping the script a bit, the Kansas City Star offers up its readers nine things to know about the Patriots.
MassLive.com says the Patriots should still be the favorite in the AFC, but the road has gotten a little tougher.