New England Patriots vs Kansas City Chiefs: Week 1 Preview and Prediction

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 31: Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 31: Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots /


The Chiefs will be ready for the Patriots, so how do the Patriots make sure they start their season with a victory?

  1. Brandin Cooks needs to introduce himself to New England.
  2. Keep the Kansas City defense off-balance with a four-headed rushing attack.
  3. Contain Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and keep quarterback Alex Smith from getting in rhythm.

Cooks has been kept under wraps so far in training camp and the preseason by head coach Bill Belichick. With Julian Edelman out for the season, Cooks may have to pick-up some of his responsibilities on offense. Cooks is the most talented receiver in New England since Randy Moss and his potential value as a true number one wide receiver has been understated so far.

Last season in New Orleans Cooks had 78 receptions for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2015, he had 84 catches for 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns. Cooks has short-space quickness and breakaway speed once he gets the ball in his hands. A big game from Cooks in his first game in a New England uniform is a must.

New England Patriots
New England Patriots /

New England Patriots

The Patriots also need to re-establish the running game in 2017. Last season LeGarrette Blount put up some garish stats but at the end of season averaged less than four yards per carry and struggled late in the season picking up key yards. Part of that was due to the offensive line struggling to make holes against strong defenses, but part of that was why New England imported Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead.

New England needs to complement its passing game with a strong rushing attack. Although they have shown that they can’t win the by throwing the ball 60 times it is not a formula for success week in and week out. Having their running game get on track early Will only help them as the season progresses.

The Patriots also have to find a way to address the problem of matching up with Travis Kelce. The six foot six and 260 pound tight end of the Kansas City Chiefs is a difficult assignment. Look for New England to mix coverages in attempt to force quarterback Alex Smith to throw the ball elsewhere