1. Kansas City Chiefs (AWAY – Week 4)
It’s only fitting that the defending world champs occupy the top spot on this list.
The Patriots and Chiefs have seen a lot of each other over recent years. Some highlights and lowlights of this burgeoning AFC rivalry:
- Chiefs destroy Patriots 41-14 at Arrowhead in 2014 — prompting Brady’s benching, Belichick’s “We’re on to Cincinnati” soundbyte, and the ultimate redemption story of New England’s first Super Bowl championship in 10 years
- Patriots defeat Chiefs 27-20 at home in Divisional round of 2015/2016 playoffs
- Chiefs annihilate Patriots 42-27 on the road in Week 1 of New England’s title defense season in 2017
- Patriots win thrilling shootout 43-40 at home in first game versus Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs during 2018 regular season
- Patriots again defeat Chiefs, this time on the road in the AFC Championship Game, in overtime 37-31 en route to winning sixth title
- Chiefs overwhelm Patriots at Gillette 23-16 last season in another close game
All in all, Andy Reid’s Chiefs are 3-3 against Bill Belichick’s Patriots, though New England is 2-0 in the playoffs under Belichick against Reid’s Chiefs.
Unfortunately, the tide may be turning in favor of Kansas City for a while now that Brady’s gone … especially considering Mahomes is just 24 years old. Assuming he stays healthy and continues improving every year, the Patriots could be tormented by Mahomes and the Chiefs for at least another 10 years or so.
In the here and now though, this game ranks as the hardest one on New England’s 2020 schedule. I had the Chiefs pegged in the No. 1 spot last year too, and they obviously gave the Patriots fits at Gillette Stadium and eventually went on to win the Super Bowl.
This year, they get to stay home at Arrowhead … and there’s no Tom Brady to work his magic for the Pats.