The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense has been described as a measuring stick for the New England Patriots’ defense. But is it?
Every defense, including the vaunted Jacksonville Jaguars’ unit, has struggled to stop the Chiefs. So, even if the Patriots’ defense isn’t bad, is it really realistic to expect them to slow down the Chiefs’ juggernaut attack?
Sunday night’s matchup between the Patriots and Chiefs is reasonably expected to be a shootout. If the Patriots’ defense winds up looking good, it says a lot more about them than if they struggle to stop quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, et al.
Let’s get into this week’s mailbag.
Will we see more out of Josh Gordon because of his now 3 week experience in the system and because of the other weapons in the offense? Is the Chiefs defense really as bad as the statistics show?
I wouldn’t be surprised if wide receiver Gordon saw a significant increase in snaps. He played 18 snaps in Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins and 18 more in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts. It wasn’t a huge surprise that he didn’t see an increase against the Colts on Thursday with such a short week of practice.
But as Bill Belichick once said, “every short week, there’s a long week.” Gordon should have more of the offense nailed down with a full week to prepare for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gordon also should see more snaps if Chris Hogan can’t go with his thigh injury. Hogan first was listed with a thigh injury Wednesday, when he was spotted limping through the locker room. Hogan didn’t participate in Thursday’s walk-through.
It’s hard to predict how Gordon will be deployed from week to week, and a lot of this is pure conjecture. But with more practice and time with the playbook, one would think Gordon will be used more and more on offense.
Do you think at some point this season that Chris Hogan will be the odd-man out? With Gordon and Edelman, and honestly, Dorsett has outplayed Hogan so far thru 5 games
If Gordon emerges as a starter, the Patriots have three options: Reduce Hogan’s snaps, reduce Phillip Dorsett’s snaps or have the two receivers split the No. 3 receiver role.
I think the third option, splitting the role, is most likely. I can’t see the Patriots just straight-up benching either player. Dorsett has been playing better this season, but Hogan has a longer track record of success in the Patriots’ offense. Both players are decent fits for the “Z” role in the Patriots’ offense in 11 personnel sets.
It’s kind of amazing that we’re talking about a logjam at wide receiver after the way this season started, no? Remember when fans thought the season was over if the Patriots didn’t sign Dez Bryant?
Who will be the player to watch on the Pats defense this Sunday?
The two most important players might be safeties Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon. They’ll be tasked to prevent big plays. And if the Patriots allow big plays against the Chiefs, then they’re probably cooked.
The Patriots could (and should) use two safeties back deep in a Cover-2 man scheme in certain situations to prevent big plays from Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. That should dare the Chiefs to run the ball, which is what the Patriots want. They’d rather be beaten by running back Kareem Hunt than Mahomes.
Who do you think is the best team in the nfl? How do you think the patriots will do this weekend ? And do you think gordon is here long term?
1. It has to be either the Chiefs or Los Angeles Rams, right? If the Patriots beat the Chiefs, then they’re in the conversation.
2. I predict a win. The Patriots are favored by 3 1/2 points. It’s going to be a shootout, but I think the Patriots’ defense is better suited to stop the Chiefs’ offense than vice versa.
3. As long as everything continues to trend positively, then I think they’ll definitely try. Gordon is a restricted free agent after the season. That means the Patriots can match any contract another team offers him. If the Patriots choose not to match, then they’ll get a draft pick for him. That’s a win-win.
Do you see Flowers coming back after his release from Detroit this year? #MailDoug
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marquis Flowers back in a Patriots uniform after being cut by the Detroit Lions. The Patriots liked him enough to sign him to a one-year contract as a free agent this offseason. He was beaten out for a roster spot by Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Nicholas Grigbsy, Brandon King and Ja’Whaun Bentley. Bentley was placed on injured reserve, and Grigsby hasn’t shown much as a defender. Flowers would be a valuable depth piece.
Imagine there is a new franchise in the NFL and an expansion draft just like 02. Based on the last draft and on the current roster players age and contracts, which 5 players do you think Belichik would put up to be picked?? And would any of them actually be selected?? #MailDoug
That’s a great question. Teams are less likely to take players with high salary cap hits. So, based on players under contract next season, and their 2019 salary cap figures, I’d probably go with tight end Dwayne Allen ($7.4 million), linebacker Dont’a Hightower ($10.375 million), safety Devin McCourty ($13.435 million), quarterback Brian Hoyer ($3 million) and probably someone like wide receiver Darren Andrews.
Allen, Hightower, McCourty and Hoyer would be unlikely to be claimed at their cap hits. And Andrews, coming off a college torn ACL, is a total flier.
Let’s go rapid fire.
@DougKyed why are NFL games split into quarters with a half time?? Why not just have 2 halves and a half time??🤔 #maildoug
So teams can change field direction within a half.
#maildoug What’s the most surprising (positive) non-football thing a player has ever told you about himself?
I was very surprised when James Harrison told the media last year that he would find out the results of the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game when he arrived at Gillette Stadium on Monday morning.
I don’t believe him, though.
I was also surprised when Logan Ryan told me he thought Tom Brady had the best hands on the team. That notion took a hit in Super Bowl LII, though.
@DougKyed Is Hollister going to get involved in the Offense this week? #maildoug
That depends largely on the health of Hogan. If Hogan plays, then there might be too many weapons on offense for Hollister to see a significant role.
Any albums you’ve been enjoying a lot in 2018? #MailDoug
I also recently got into Iron Chic’s “You Can’t Stay Here.”
Will patriots go after buccanon? Sorry if I misspelled that. #MailDoug
I can only see Arizona Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon winding up on the Patriots if he’s cut. I can’t figure out a way the Patriots could open up enough cap space to swing a trade for him.
Same goes for Jamie Collins.
How would you rate your confidence on a scale of 1-100 facing this chiefs team from the way our team looked week 3 to this current week? (2 different scores)
Week 3: 25
Did you play football in high school?
I played defensive end and center my freshman year. I stopped playing after that to concentrate on playing guitar in various high school pop-punk bands. That eventually offered me the opportunity to go on several tours across the United States after college. So, while I slightly regret not playing four years of high school football, I still think I ultimately made the right choice.
If your daughter can’t remember all five Super Bowls, how much of a bandwagon fan is she? #maildoug
Big time. Can’t argue that.
What’s the deal with Ronald Jones?
I don’t know. I don’t cover the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
#maildoug what is the over/under on Chief’s punts? 1? Comes in the 4th quarter?
The over/under has to be set at more than one.
I know the Chiefs’ offense is really good, but are we just pretending the last two weeks didn’t happen? The Patriots almost shut out the Miami Dolphins in Week 4. They allowed three points in the first half of their Week 5 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
The Patriots’ defense was bad in Weeks 2 and 3, but they haven’t been in recent weeks. They’ll at least make a couple stops in this game.
Who has a better game on Sunday: Josh Gordon or Sammy Watkins?
If Stephon Gilmore covers Watkins, which I think he should, then I’ll say Gordon.
Brother Doug can you play defense
I don’t think I’d be very useful at defensive end in the NFL. I have 18 years of rust.
Disregarding the actual play on the field, how’s your season going as a beat writer?
It’s going well. The trips to Jacksonville and Detroit have been fun, and it’s always a good hanging out with the fellow beat writers at Gillette and on the road. I’ve been doing some more consistent video work, which is always a good time.
All in all, it’s been another great season on the beat.
Plus, we’ve got the one and only William Bendetson back this year. He makes every day interesting.
What kind of hair product do you use?
I’ve recently started using Uppercut Matt Pomade. I recommend it, though it doesn’t smell as good as some other pomades.
I previously used Suavecito pomade, but my barber stopped carrying it and began stocking the Uppercut stuff. I love it so far.
Doug, how many “should the Pats try to acquire this guy?” trade questions do you get weekly?
Honestly, it’s probably the majority of the questions.
Lol I ask many questions no answers, But want to know why do patriots continuously play man def against fast wr teams doing drags all day knowing linebacker can’t keep up with a turtle? And Doug why is it bill never made it priority to get speed at LB is he against it #MailDoug
Sorry, everyone. Ran out of words again. See you next week.
Watch this week’s full mailbag video:
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images