Patriots vs Chiefs: 2019 AFC Championship Game Patriots vs Chiefs: How to watch, game time, TV schedule, channels, The Chiefs and Patriots had an offensive shootout the last time they played. Will it be more of the same for the AFC Championship?
It’s also worth noting Hightower and the Patriots’ other linebackers won’t need to worry about covering running back Kareem Hunt this time around. Hunt, who was released early last month, is a major threat in the passing game, averaging 14.5 yards per reception this season. Replacement Damien Williams has been great as a rusher (two 100-yard efforts in the last four games) but doesn’t pack the same punch as a pass-catcher, averaging just 7.0 yards per reception this season. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 43-40 in Week 6, but that game was played at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots have not been the same team on the road this season, going just 3-5 away from Foxboro. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are 8-1 at Arrowhead and have won 72.5 percent of their home games (37-14) since Andy Reid became head coach in 2013.
This is the Patriots’ eighth consecutive AFC title game appearance and their 13th since 2001. The Chiefs haven’t played in a conference championship since 1993. They’re vying for their first Super Bowl berth since 1969.
New England had zero players listed on its final injury report of the week — just the third time that’s happened for any Patriots game in the last five seasons — and Kansas City had just one: linebacker Dorian O’Daniel, who was ruled out with an ankle injury.
The last time the Patriots were underdogs in any game was Week 1 of the 2016 season, when Jimmy Garoppolo led them to a 23-21 road victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The last time that happened in a Tom Brady start was Week 13 in 2014 at Green Bay.
Home teams have won each of the last 10 conference championship games. The last road teams to advance to the Super Bowl were the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 postseason.
Several other Chiefs players were removed from the injury report Friday, including running back Spencer Ware, offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and safety Eric Berry, indicating they’re likely to play Sunday.
An NFL MVP front-runner, Mahomes threw for 50 touchdowns this season — joining Brady and Peyton Manning as the only QBs in league history to reach that mark — and continuously bamboozled defenses with his arsenal of no-look, left-handed and cross-field passes.
The Patriots were able to confuse the 23-year-old phenom in the first half of their Week 6 meeting, but he broke out after halftime, completing 9 of 13 passes for 188 yards and four touchdowns — including 67- and 75-yarders — over the final two quarters. Limiting those kinds of big plays will be crucial for New England on Sunday.
Berry has appeared in just two games since rupturing his Achilles against the Patriots in the 2017 season opener, but he’s expected to play Sunday after being a full participant in practice this week. Who knows whether he’ll look anything like three-time All-Pro he was before his injury, but at his peak, Berry was one of the few players in the NFL capable of singlehandedly neutralizing Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Edelman’s track record of postseason production is simply remarkable. He’s been targeted 10 or more times in each of the Patriots’ last 10 playoff games and has averaged 8.3 catches and 101.6 yards per game during that span.
Last week in the divisional round, Edelman tied his career high with 191 yards on nine catc