After beating the bag out of both the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts in a five-day span, things will get real for the New England Patriots on Sunday night when the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs come to Gillette Stadium.
Coming into Foxboro at a perfect 5-0, it's been first-year starter Patrick Mahomes that'd led the charge for the Chiefs, with an NFL-best 14 touchdown passes for a Kansas City offense that's totaled the second-most points in the NFL thus far (175).
But the Patriot offense looks alive and well, especially after the return of Julian Edelman in Week 5, along with notable contributions from rookie running back Sony Michel and trade acquisition Josh Gordon.
This will be the first meeting between the Chiefs and Patriots since K.C. spoiled New England's Week 1, banner-raising night to begin the 2017 season, and the fourth meeting between these teams in the last five years. The Chiefs have won two of the previous three, but the Patriots' lone win was undoubtedly the most important, as it came in the postseason.
Here's how the 98.5 The Sports Hub staff sees this one shaking down...
Ty Anderson (writer/columnist, 985TheSportsHub.com)
The powers that be have given Bill Belichick and the Patriots 10 days -- 10 days! -- to learn what it is that's made Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs so lethal this season. Advantage: Belichick. In all our panicking in regards to what Mahomes and the Chiefs' weapons can do against the New England defense, I think we've undersold just how abysmal this Kansas City defense has been this year (and how good the Pats looked last week). Oh, and Andy Reid still thinks NFL quarters are 25 minutes long.
Last time I went to a Patriots-Chiefs game, somebody in the balcony yelled, "Kansas City could have never been discovered and everything in America would be exactly the same." I feel as if that should count for something.
Patriots 38, Chiefs 30.
Christian Arcand (The Adam Jones Show)
Gut check game for the defense- unfortunately I’m not sure they’re up for the task. Brady and the offense should be able to move the ball on KC but the Chiefs have a sneaky good pass rush.
Chiefs 34, Patriots 30.
Matt Dolloff (writer/producer, 985TheSportsHub.com)
This will kinda, sorta be the night that Patrick Mahomes Comes Back To Earth™.
Bill Belichick will find a way to scheme it up to slow down the dynamic-but-green quarterback. Still, Mahomes and the Chiefs offense are just too talented and playing too well right now to be completely shut down. Tom Brady and the Patriots, however, should be nigh unstoppable on offense. This is usually the kind of spot where the Patriots answer the bell at home, and Sunday night should be no different. They'll run it up on a depleted Chiefs defense, and Mahomes won't quite be able to keep up. Garbage time points for the Chiefs will make this one look closer than it really was.
Patriots 41, Chiefs 27.
Adam Jones (The Adam Jones Show)
After a string of crappy games, we finally get a good one! Patriots and Chiefs has all kinds of interesting layers to it, including a high flying offense led by Pat Mahomes going against Bill Belichick. The key to this could be the three extra days Bill has to prepare. But even with the extra time, I'm just not sure the Patriots have the personnel on defense to keep up.
Chiefs 38, Patriots 35.
Tony Massarotti (Felger and Mazz)
Pats have had 10 days to prepare and, frankly, Kansas City is due. Pats offense looked much more like its usual self with the return of Julian Edelman and Kansas City's defense stinks. (This will ultimately cost Chiefs in playoffs.) Meanwhile, the Pats defense is nothing extraordinary - but they'll do enough to win.
Patriots 37, Chiefs 27.
Matt McCarthy (98.5 The Sports Hub)
The Patriots are going to have a lot of trouble with the speed on the Kansas City offense. The defense is way too slow and Mahomes and company will absolutely take advantage. That said, the Chiefs don't have an answer for Tom Brady. If the Patriots were on the road, I'd take Kansas City because they're the better team at the moment, but playing in Foxboro gives them an edge. Pats win on a field goal as time expires.
Patriots 33, Chiefs 30.
Mike 'Sarge' Riley (98.5 The Sports Hub)
Keep an eye on the run game for both teams to be the difference maker; KC Sophomore Kareem Hunt is the fourth leading rusher in the league with 376 yards, while Patriots Rookie Sony Michel has over 200 yards in two straight at Gillette with a pair of touchdowns. Chiefs ended their six-game losing streak in Foxboro last year, but the Patriots will return the favor Sunday as their will be no more teams undefeated in the AFC.
Patriots 32, Chiefs 28.
For complete coverage of this week's Chiefs-Patriots tilt, click here.