The New England Patriots will be suiting up on Sunday for their eighth successive AFC Championship Game. The Kansas City Chiefs will be suiting up for just second one ever, and their first since 1993, when they lost 30-13 on the road in Buffalo.
The Chiefs opened as 3-point favorites at Bovada.
8 straight AFC championship game appearances pic.twitter.com/KPP24sng76
— Bostons Diehards (@WTP_BDiehards) January 13, 2019
The last time the Chiefs won a game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line was on Jan. 4, 1970, when they beat the Oakland Raiders 17-7 on the road in the farewell AFL Championship Game to earn a berth in Super Bowl 4.
The Chiefs also won the 1966 AFL Championship Game 31-7 at Buffalo to go to Super Bowl 1, so this will mark the first time that Kansas City has ever played host to a league or conference championship game.
The Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in New England in Week 6, but it’s the Chiefs who will open as three-point favorites.
Kickoff is set for 6:40pm EST on Sunday, January 20th.
New England Patriots
What’s left to say about the Patriots?
Eight successive AFC title games and 13 under the coach Bill Belichick/QB Tom Brady regime. Brady passed for 343 yards in the Pats’ 41-28 Divisional Round win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Historically, New England’s postseason show doesn’t travel well. The Patriots haven’t won an AFC Championship Game on the road since 2004, going 0-3 since. Brady is 1-4 in his last five AFC road playoff games.
The forecast is for perhaps the coldest game in Arrowhead Stadium history, and how will that impact Brady and the NE pass game?
National Weather Service is projecting an arctic blast to settle over Kansas City for Sunday's AFC Championship Game vs Patriots, reports the @AP_NFL . Temperatures at kickoff could range from 10 degrees to well below zero, making it the coldest game in Arrowhead Stadium history.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2019
The sub-zero temperatures could make Patriots RB Sony Michel a bigger factor in the outcome of the game.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 13, 2019
Michel rumbled for 105 yards and three TDs on just 16 carries against the Chargers.
Sony Michel is the only player in the last 25 postseasons with 100 Rush yards and 3 Rush TD in the 1st half.
He's just the 3rd rookie in postseason history with 3 Rush TD in a single game (Leonard Fournette in 2017 and William Floyd in 1994), per @EliasSports.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 13, 2019
The Patriots gained 517 yards on the ground in their last two regular-season games.
Patriots vs Chiefs Statistical Comparison
|27.2 (4)||PPG||35.3 (1)|
|393.4 (5)||YPG||425.6 (1)|
|127.3 (5)||Rushing YPG||115.9 (16)|
|266.1 (8)||Passing YPG||309.7 (3)|
|20.3 (7)||PPG allowed||26.3 (24)|
|359.1 (21)||YPG allowed||405.5 (31)|
|112.7 (11)||Rushing YPG allowed||132.1 (27)|
|246.4 (22)||Passing YPG allowed||273.4 (31)|
|+10 (5)||Turnover differential||+9 (6)|
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are known for their offense, but in their 31-13 NFL Divisional Round win over the Indianapolis Colts, it was their much-maligned defense that stepped to the fore, completely stifling QB Andrew Luck and the Indy offense.
Allowed: Just 263 total yards.
Not allowed: A single third-down conversion.
— NFL (@NFL) January 14, 2019
They’ll need to bring the same aggressive, attacking philosophy to the field against the Patriots. If the defense plays passively against Brady, he will slice and dice them all game.
Mahomes, meanwhile, was his usual self. The only QB not named Peyton Manning to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 TDs in the same season, Mahomes drove the Chiefs to scores on their first three possessions against the Colts.
Some are billing this as the GOAT vs the kid, as Brady starts his 39th postseason game and Mahomes his second. Will Kansas City’s experience be a determinining factor?
The Chiefs have never gone to the Super Bowl as an NFL team, making both of their trips to the big game as an AFL club prior to the 1970 merger.
Things have not gone well for the Patriots in Kansas City. They’ve lost nine of their last 10 there, most recently winning in 2004.
The Patriots’ previous win at KC was in 1964, when they were still known as the Boston Patriots. Their last visit was a 41-14 drubbing in 2014.
The Chiefs have put 40 points on the board in three of their last four games against New England.
Patriots & Chiefs Betting Trends
|The Chiefs are 8-1 SU at home this season|
|The Patriots are 1-5 SU in their last six at Kansas City|
|The total has gone over in four of last five Patriots-Chiefs games|
|The total has gone over in five of Kansas City’s last seven games|