New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Five Players To Watch

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Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen (34) looks to get past Oakland Raiders cornerback Tarell Brown (23) and outside linebacker Kaluka Maiava (50) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

3. Shane Vereen

What has happened to Shane Vereen?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. His snaps have stayed roughly the same as he is on the field for about the same time as he usually is, but his production has plummeted. The Patriots have been trying to establish a physical running game with Stevan Ridley over the last two games, which definitely cuts into Vereen’s role a bit, but the Pats offense, specifically their passing offense, is much better when Vereen is making plays.

The Chiefs defense will undoubtedly key in on Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, which will force Tom Brady to go elsewhere with the ball. I hope guys like Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, and Brandon LaFell get involved, but attacking Vereen’s mismatch is a near guarantee for the Pats, so they will need the third-year man to be on top of his game this week.