There will be a lot of familiarity on Sunday. These two teams are just three months removed from an instant classic matchup. Back in week 6, the Patriots outlasted the Chiefs 43-40 on primetime TV. That game, though, was at Foxboro. With the game shifting to Arrowhead Stadium now, what — if anything — will be different this time around?
For one, points should be at more of a premium. In the first meeting, both teams totaled 946 yards of offense and 30 points in the final quarter alone. However, playoff football, especially in the bitter cold of Kansas City, should contain that offensive explosion.
Sportsbooks seem to agree because the over/under line has dipped since first coming out on Sunday night. The total began at 57.5 points and three entire points have been shaved off since.
History runs deeper than an October matchup, too. The two head coaches — Bill Belichick and Andy Reid — are very much "frenemies." Belichick has dominated the head-to-head series with a whopping 6-2 record against Reid, including a Super Bowl victory.
Reid has dazzled all-season long, helping engineer an offense that scores an NFL-high 35.3 points per game. His masterful playcalling has resulted in an unthinkable season for quarterback Patrick Mahomes that'll likely earn him an MVP trophy. Still, this is Reid we're talking about — a coach that is 1-4 all-time in conference championship games.
The question becomes, is Mahomes a big enough difference-maker to help his coach finally get over the hump? After a 50-touchdown and 5,000-plus yard throwing season, he's clearly an upgrade over prior Reid signal callers such as Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Alex Smith.