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Samsonite Make Your Case: Sunday Night Showdown

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The Patriots bounced back from their two-game losing streak and find themselves at 3-2 as they head into a Week 6 showdown against the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs. It will mark the end of a three-game homestand for New England and it's a game that could very well have postseason implications in terms of tiebreakers for both teams.

The Chiefs bring a prolific offense, led by young Patrick Mahomes, while the Patriots will look to keep him under wraps. That won't be easy considering Mahomes opened the season in record-setting pace and the Chiefs lit up scoreboards throughout the opening month of the season.

On the flip side, Kansas City's defense is nothing to write home about. The Chiefs were among the worst in the league in a number of statistical categories and Mahomes & Co. were forced to outscore most of their opponents in the early going.

So with the Oct. 14 Sunday night showdown nearly upon us, it raises an interesting question. This week's Samsonite Make Your Case question is: Which side of the ball needs to lead the way against the Chiefs?

PFW's Andy Hart says ...

OFFENSE

Kansas City can score a lot of points and the Patriots will need to match them if they expect to win. Tom Brady now has Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski back on the field together and they'll get the advantage of playing at home. That means the offense has the pieces to compete with anyone, and they'll need to be sharp on Sunday.

Brady struggled at times as he searched for reliable options in the first month of the season. With Edelman back, and Josh Gordon a little more comfortable, the pieces are in place for an offensive explosion. Unfortunately the Patriots will likely need it going against what has been one of the most prolific offenses in the league thus far.

It's a passing league with rules geared toward helping offenses and scoring points, so it's hard to rely on the defense to hold such a high-powered attack in check. Brady needs to be at his best and the Patriots have to put points on the board early and often. If not, it could be a long night.

-AH

PFW's Paul Perillo says ...

DEFENSE

If the Patriots defense that played in Weeks 2 and 3 shows up against Kansas City, then New England will have no chance. No matter how productive Tom Brady and the rest of the offense is, teams can't rely solely on outscoring opponents in order to win.

The Chiefs offense has been great in the early going. Patrick Mahomes has been ridiculously impressive, but he's still just in his second season and first year as a starter. He hasn't really experienced any struggles thus far, and the Patriots defense needs to make sure that happens Sunday night.

I'm not suggesting the defense needs to pitch a shutout or anything close to that, but the unit needs to play to its capabilities to take some of the heat off Brady and the offense. There are still some moving parts on that side of the ball and to expect them to put 35-plus points on the board in order to win is asking a lot.

The defense needs to step up at home with the crowd at its back and make life difficult on a young quarterback.

-PP

Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.

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