Monday Night Football preview: Can Pats get on track against Chiefs?

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By KHARI THOMPSON
College Contributor Network

New England against Kansas City is typically a no-brainer. The Patriots are 4-1 against the Chiefs since 2001 and, as Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork so eloquently put it, "If you can't get crunk for Monday Night Football, you're in the wrong business."

And the big fella backs up his words. The Patriots (2-1) are 10-2 on Monday Night Football since the program moved to ESPN in 2006. We're talking about Bill Belichick and Tom Brady versus Alex Smith and Co.

Brady is just 219 yards away from becoming the sixth quarterback to eclipse the 50,000-yard mark and he normally picks the Chiefs (1-2) apart. He is 4-1 against them with seven touchdowns and a 110.0 passer rating. The only time the Chiefs have beaten Brady in fact, was when he suffered a torn ACL in the first quarter way back on Sept. 7, 2008.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski is still finding his way much like the rest of the offense -- he has appeared in less than half of the team's offensive snaps. The Patriots will hope he is rounding into form after hauling in a touchdown catch for the second straight game last week.

In what has been a disappointing start to the season, the Pats barely eked out a win over the struggling Raiders in that game, and Brady's stats look eerily similar to those of Smith. Further, the Chiefs are fresh off of a 34-15 win over the Dolphins in Miami -- the same team that opened up the season with a win over the Patriots.

"Momentum's a funny thing," said Smith after the victory.

"It's hard to put your finger on it, but certainly, this helps. This is what you're looking for, a win on the road, a tough win, I thought."

This week, the Chiefs are at home and looking to even up their record against the Patriots, one of the few teams to match their offensive woes -- Kansas City and New England are ranked 26th and 29th in yards per game, respectively. If these two teams stick to their averages, points will be at a premium. And the Patriots, who give up around 80 yards and five points per game less than the Chiefs, seem to have the upper hand.

But, the Chiefs have a not-so-secret weapon up their sleeves. Running back Jamaal Charles is expected to play against the Patriots, listed as probable on the team's injury report, and he'll work in tandem with Knile Davis who had a big game in Charles' place last week, rushing for 132 yards on 32 carries.

The last time these two teams met, the Patriots dominated for a 34-3 win in Foxborough. Gronkowski had 96 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Julian Edelman had a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown and the Patriots intercepted the Chiefs three times.

Expect this one to be much closer, but with the same final result, as New England shows Kansas City who's boss with a 28-17 road win.


Khari Thompson is a sophomore at Hampton University, who hails from Boston, MA. Majoring in Broadcast Journalism, Khari is the play-by-play voice of Hampton Lady Pirates basketball. Follow him on Twitter: @thatkidchief
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