Biggest sleeper in Patriots-Chiefs: Phillip Dorsett, a bust with Colts, is heating up for Patriots

The first time the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs played this season, they scored 83 combined points. The Patriots won on a field goal as time expired.

It might be more challenging to score points in Sunday’s AFC championship game. Weather forecasters warned of a possible “arctic blast” in Kansas City on Sunday. Even if temperatures don’t dip below zero, it will probably be extremely cold and that might slow down both offenses.

For the AFC title game, here is a sleeper from the Patriots and Chiefs:

New England Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett

Dorsett didn’t work out as a first-round pick of the Colts, and after Indianapolis traded him to New England for quarterback Jacoby Brissett, he spent almost two full seasons rarely making an impact for the Patriots.

But when Josh Gordon left the Patriots, reportedly facing another NFL suspension, Dorsett took advantage of another chance. Finally.

In New England’s past two games, Dorsett has nine catches for 75 yards. That’s a big step up, considering he had 15 catches in New England’s previous 13 games and had gone four games without a catch before Week 17. Dorsett caught a touchdown in the regular-season finale, then again in last week’s divisional round playoff win over the Chargers.

Dorsett has been efficient, as well. Those nine catches came on 10 targets from Tom Brady.

Dorsett came out of the University of Miami as an undersized speed receiver. He never fit that role with the Colts, and his Patriots career has been mostly a disappointment too. But the Patriots could try to spread out the Chiefs secondary, where Kansas City is a bit thin, and Dorsett could find some advantageous matchups.

22 PHOTOS
The best photos of the NFL playoffs
See Gallery
The best photos of the NFL playoffs
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 20: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: Ted Ginn #19 of the New Orleans Saints makes a 43-yard catch against Lamarcus Joyner #20 of the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees is sacked by Los Angeles Rams' Ndamukong Suh during the first half of the NFL football NFC championship game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Los Angeles Rams players celebrate after overtime of the NFL football NFC championship game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) spins in the air as he is tackled by New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31) during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with his teammates after the AFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots breaks up a pass intended for Mike Williams #81 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) gestures as he runs past Indianapolis Colts safety Clayton Geathers (26) and linebacker Anthony Walker during the second half of an NFL divisional football playoff game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) lies on the turf in front of New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) after the Saints intercepted a pass in the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. The Saints won 20-14. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown as he is defended by Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Inside linebacker Cory Littleton #58 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles running back Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Round playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 12: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by J.J. Wilcox #37 and teammate Kenny Moore #23 of the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) pulls in a touchdown reception against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) in the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers loses the ball on the 1 yard line against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 05: Eric Ebron #85 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a pass for a touchdown defended by Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Houston Texans in the first quarter during the Wild Card Round at NRG Stadium on January 5, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates his first down near the goal line against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of the NFC wild-card NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) tries to break free from Los Angeles Chargers free safety Derwin James in the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) leaps over Los Angeles Chargers defenders as he rushes the ball in the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) flies for the goal line and makes a first down against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) during the second half of the NFC wild-card NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey (1) reacts after missing a field goal in the closing minute during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. The Eagles won 16-15. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Kansas City Chiefs S Daniel Sorensen

The first time the Chiefs and Patriots played, Sorensen was out. He was still recovering from preseason knee surgery.

Sorensen returned on Nov. 11 and it took a few games for him to get back to full speed. But by the end of the season he was back to his old role, playing full-time and being used in a number of ways. He’ll be deployed all over the field against the Patriots.

Sorensen, who started his career as a special-teams ace, took on a bigger role on defense last season and had 88 tackles. He’s able to play a deep safety role or up near the line in dime packages. The Chiefs will use him as a blitzer on occasion. Sorensen’s versatility is important for the Chiefs given the near-constant uncertainty with fellow safety Eric Berry’s health. Sorensen can fill any role he’s needed for. That is especially useful against an offense like the Patriots, which is unpredictable.

The Chiefs gave up a lot of points and yards the first time they faced the Patriots. They’ll be hoping that Sorensen can play a part in limiting the damage this time.

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Subscribe to The Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast

Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Podcasts

Read Full Story