Patriots vs. Chiefs: A Historical Review

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Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) drops a pass against New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs and Patriots are set to square off in the 2017 NFL regular season opener and it marks another installment in the rivalry of these two teams. Many iconic moments have come out of this rivalry and another installment will be made tonight. Let’s take a look back at the Patriots and Chiefs rivalry over Tom Brady’s career.

The Stats:

Brady and the Patriots have faced off against the Chiefs seven times in his career including the postseason and the Patriots are 5-2 in those games. However, Brady’s stat lines for these games does leave a little to be desired. Brady has thrown only 11 touchdowns to seven interceptions in these six career games against the Chiefs. That’s a 1.57 touchdown to interception ratio, well below Brady’s career average of 2.84. While statistically Brady may not play his best games against the Chiefs, the Patriots still find a way to come out on top. Can more of the same be expected tonight?

The Storylines:

While the Patriots and Chiefs may not have the most extensive, deep seated rivalry in the NFL, there always seem to be storylines that emerge from these games. The last time these teams met in week one of the regular season was back in 2008. This game featured one of the career defining moments for Tom Brady as he was hit low while dropping back in the pocket and suffered a complete ACL and MCL tear in his left knee and was lost for the season. The Patriots went on to go 11-5 that season but would miss the playoffs. The only time the Patriots have done so since 2002.

With the lows, however, come some great moments as well. In week four of the 2014 NFL season Brady would clash with the Chiefs again, and fail to finish the game. This was no devastating knee injury to derail his season, but merely a bad game in which Brady for 159 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions before being benched in a blowout for one Jimmy Garoppolo. Following this blowout loss on Monday night and a 2-2 start to the season, many analysts and reporters questioned whether Brady still had what it took, and whether or not he’d hit the proverbial “quarterback cliff”.
In a press conference following the game, Belichick was asked repeatedly about the starting quarterback status in New England and if Brady was in danger of losing the job to Garoppolo, and great TV was seen by all. Belichick, annoyed by the repetitive questioning of the starting qb position, simply started responding with, “We’re on to Cincinnati.” in that dead eye, annoyed mumble fashion that Patriot fans and reporters are all too familiar with. This has become one of the all time press conference moments right alongside classics like “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” and “PLAYOFFS?! Don’t talk to me about playoffs!”.

Of course the ending to the 2014 season is well known with Malcolm Butler making the game winning interception in super bowl XLIX, but part of the lore of that season all started with the questioning of Brady after the week four benching against the Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams would meet again in the playoffs en route to the Patriots super bowl title and the results were much different. Brady passed for 302 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 27-20 New England victory.

The New Chapter:

Tonight, a new chapter in the Patriots and Chiefs storied history will be written. What will define this game? Hopefully not a blowout that leads to calls for Garoppolo, or a season ending injury. It could also be remembered as the springboard for which the Patriots launch their title defense for the 2017 season. Banner raising super bowl ceremony in New England, the return of Roger Goodell following deflategate, the opening game of the NFL regular season. One thing is for sure; with the Patriots and the Chiefs shared history, tonight’s game should be another one for the history books.

-Adam Myers is a Staff Writer for cover32.com/Patriots and covers the New England Patriots. 

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