With the 2015-16 NFL AFC Wild Card round out of the way we move on to the Divisional Round with the 1st game being played on Saturday the 16th of January 2016 as the 12-5 Kansas City Chiefs (AFC-West) playing the 12-4 New England Patriots(AFC-East) with the game being played at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts and with kick-off scheduled for 4:45 PM ET and seen on CBS TV.
The early Vegas odds for those that Bet on NFL football have the favorites listed as the New England Patriotsat -4 with the Over/under at 43 and -200 on the Money Line, while the Kansas City Chiefs are listed as the underdogs at +4 and +170 on the ML.
Yes, the Chiefs had a win that ended their postseason dry spell with a rout on the road and shut out of the Texans of Houston 30-0. Now they come up against the powerful and rested New England Patriots in this match-up in the Divisional Round. The winner of this Divisional Round will play the for the AFC Championship with the winner between the Broncos and the Steelers with the AFC Title game to be played on Sunday the 17th of January 2016.
If you’re a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs you know that your team has had some 22 years without a win in the postseason games, but now they are there as they beat the Texans in a smashing 30-0 game and now they face the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round on Saturday the 16th of January 2016.
Most fans don’t remember the last time the Chiefs played the Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium when the upset the Patriots 41-14 thanks to RB J. Charles. However, this game will be somewhat different as the game is on the road at Foxboro and the team is without RB Charles, out with an injury to his ACL.
Regardless the KC offense for the run is still very powerful, as they burnt the Texans in that last wild card game as they rushed for some 142 yards and a TD, with RB S. Ware having 16 carries for 68 rushing yards, and QB A. Smith had 5 carries as he scrambled for some 28 yards.
Fans should not expect their QB to be only a scrambler since as of late his passing game has accounted for some 11 touchdowns with 5 intercepts and that’s in their last 7 games of the regular 2015 season. Against the Texans this past Saturday the 9th of January he passed for 192 yards and a TD and with a 77.2 % completions with just 1 interception in that game.
The Chiefs TE T. Kelce was target on for QB Smith as he had 8 receptions for 129 yards, and in their last game against the Patriots he scored 1 time and had 94 yards on receptions. If is very likely that he could have another great game against the Pats whose defense against the pass as of late has been somewhat lackluster, certainly in their ultimate 3 season games as they allowed their opponents some 295 yards each of those games.
Meanwhile the defense of the Chiefs has recently been playing great as they only allowed their opponents to score an average of 11.5 points in their ultimate 11 games, and that included the shut out of the Texans in the wild card game last Saturday. That defense forced the Texans into making a total of 5 turnovers with 4 being on interceptions and 1 being a fumble and recovery in that game. It is highly likely that this KC defense could have another dominate game against the Patriots, if New England is seeking an early lead.
If you’re a fan of the New England Patriots surely you know your team ended their regular season losing 4 of their ultimate 6 regular season games, but still managed to get a 1st round bye and a rest period which is needed due to all the injuries on the Patriot team. Their QB T. Brady is nursing an ankle injury received in the season final game with the Dolphins, while other players who have been out with injuries like WR J. Edelman, OL S. Vollmer, LB D. Hightower and DE C. Jones are expected to be on the roster for this game after missing time due to their injuries.
The Patriots will not return their star RB L Blount for this game as he is on injured reserve resulting from complications with his hip injury. Thus, it’s likely that the Patriots without their star RB Blount in the backfield, they will likely revert to QB Brady and his passing game for their primary offense against the Chiefs.
The experts say QB Brady is the best in the AFC as he ended the 2015-16 Regular Season passing for 35 touchdowns and the Patriots are hoping the WR Edelman will return as he had 7 touchdowns this season and 692 yards on receptions in the 9 games before being injured. QB Brady will also target his No.2 receiver in D. Amendola who has 650 yards on receptions this season, and his TD R. Gronkowski who is their dominate down-field player with 11 touchdowns this season on 1,180 yards receiving. But in this game TE Gronkowski may struggle to get open for receptions since the Chiefs are listed as having 1 of the better pass defenses in the league as they allowed opponents just 231 yard passing each game t his season.
Defensively the Patriots has their front seven in tack including Hightower and Jones and their defense should put a lot of pressure Patriots QB Smith, since Jones has 12.5 sacks this season while Hightower has 4 QB sacks this season. That defense could create problems for the KC offensive line as they allowed their QB Smith to be sacked some 3 times in their last wildcard game last Saturday.
The online sportsbook prediction for this game is that New England Patriots prove to be still an offensive power and they get a dominate win over the Chiefs on their home turf and move on to the AFC Title game.