New England Patriots’ Four Keys To Victory Versus Kansas City Chiefs

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Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) scrambles during the fourth quarter against Oakland Raiders at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 16-9. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

1. Protect Tom Brady


All of the talk in Foxboro this week has been about the offensive line, and how bad they have been to this point. New England has one of the worst offensive units in the league right now, and I would say 90% of the blame has to be placed on the big boys up front. If Tom Brady doesn’t have any time to set up in the pocket, and analyze the defense, this offense will struggle.

The Chiefs bring a very dangerous defensive line to this game, particularly on the edge, where Tamba Hali and Justin Houston reside. The two edge rushers have combined for five sacks thus far, and they will be looking for more tonight. Nate Solder has had a surprisingly rough start to the season, but this is a game where New England will need him to bounce back, and make sure Brady’s blind-side is protected. Sebastian Vollmer hasn’t been perfect, but he probably has been the best lineman out of the five starters through three games.

I expect the Pats to run a rotation in the middle again, moving Jordan Devey in and out with Ryan Wendell, and maybe rookie Bryan Stork throughout the game. Bill Belichick and company have yet to decide what combination works the best on the interior, but with Dontari Poe looming, they better figure it out quickly.