The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs both are 3-0 heading into Week 4, but which team has been more impressive?
The Patriots still have yet to allow an offensive touchdown on the campaign, while Patrick Mahomes and Co. are on pace to be even more dominant than a season ago. Things obviously can change in a hurry, but Colin Cowherd still ranks the reigning Super Bowl champs ahead of Kansas City, which “The Herd” host believes could be troubled by one key shortcoming.
“…The reason they’re (Chiefs) not No. 1 is they gotta get another corner,” Cowherd said Tuesday on FOX Sports 1. “Now, they’ll probably win most of those firework shows. They are deficient at corner and who’s my No. 1 team? Uh, the team that would beat you if you’re deficient at corner, New England. Now, I will say this: New England’s got real issues here. They just lost (James) Develin, their fullback, and you could see Bill Belichick at the press conference, he didn’t like that. They got no Gronk (Rob Gronkowski). They have a left tackle health issue, they lost their center for the year, their wide receivers are a mess. AB’s (Antonio Brown) gone, (Julian) Edelman’s hurt, Chris Hogan’s gone, Gronk retired and the rookie (N’Keal Harry) is on IR. The last couple of years we felt like everybody helped (Tom) Brady. Brady’s keeping this puppy afloat. They have all sorts of offensive issues, but I will say this: their defense — they’re the first team since the 1951 Cleveland Browns, and who would forget those teams, to shut out five straight opponents in the first half and that includes Patrick Mahomes. This defense is rangy, fast. It’s the best secondary. They lead the NFL in pressures. Their linebackers can hit and can run. It’s smart, it’s well-coached, you can’t beat them over the top. This defense, until they get healthy at wide receiver, will probably win them all but one of their next seven, eight games. I got them losing one, maybe sooner than you think.”
Cowherd might be being a bit dramatic about the Patriots’ “issues.” Yes, there should be legitimate concern over the banged-up offensive line, which very well could be exposed once New England comes across a formidable front seven. That said, let’s not act like the Pats’ receiving corps is in shambles. The rib injury Edelman sustained against the New York Jets appears to be minor, and Josh Gordon battled through ailments. Highlighting the absence of Hogan also is quite a reach, as Phillip Dorsett is proving to be an above-average third option on the depth chart. Let’s not forget New England’s entire stable of running backs features capable pass-catchers, too.
So of course, the Patriots are trying to work through a few things just like every other team across the league. But their “issues” might not be as serious as Cowherd makes them out to be.