How Patriots Opened Game Covering Chiefs Weapons In Surprising Fashion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — All week we debated whether Stephon Gilmore or JC Jackson would cover Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill for the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The answer was neither.

The Patriots opened the game with cornerback Jonathan Jones — perhaps the fastest player on their team — on Hill. That left Stephon Gilmore on wide receiver Sammy Watkins and rookie corner JC Jackson on tight end Travis Kelce. Jones had safety help on Hill.

The Chiefs lost six yards on six plays.

Running back Damien Williams carried the ball for 5 yards on first down. Williams then was stopped for a 2-yard loss by linebacker Elandon Roberts on second down. Jones was called for a 10-yard holding penalty against Hill on third down, giving the Chiefs a new set of downs. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw two incompletions to Watkins with Gilmore in coverage. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy sacked Mahomes for a 15-yard loss on third down, forcing a punt.

We’ll see if the Patriots continue to use Jones on Hill, Gilmore on Watkins and Jackson on Kelce moving forward. It worked for New England on the Chiefs’ first offensive series.

Thumbnail photo via Mark Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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