The Chiefs and Patriots are facing off on Monday, and both these teams are in a very unfamiliar situation. Positive COVID-19 tests for both Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton and Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta'amu derailed this matchup and forced a postponement after it was originally set to kick off on Sunday. But the road has been cleared for this game to press on, and additional testing has shown no more positive tests for either team. That said, we'll still be holding our breath essentially until kickoff as both clubs will be tested once again on Monday morning.
Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, and Tracy Wolfson will be on the call for the NFL on CBS special (7:05 p.m. ET).
Of course, New England will be at a severe disadvantage now that Newton will be sidelined for this game. Veteran Brian Hoyer is expected to start under center for the Patriots, while second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham will serve as his backup. He will try to upset Kansas City and move his Patriots to 3-1 on the year. Meanwhile, the Chiefs (3-0) will have their full complement of weapons that flexed their Lombardi muscles in Monday's win over the Baltimore Ravens.
William Hill Sportsbook has the Chiefs as an 10.5-point favorite in this matchup while the Over/Under total is set at 48.5. Of course, that spread increased from Chiefs -7 to Chiefs -10.5 following the news that Newton will be sidelined. To see who our CBS Sports experts have winning this head-to-head, click here. Before we dive deeper into this matchup, here's how you can tune into Pats-Chiefs.
How to watch
With Newton under center, Josh McDaniels completely revamped the New England offense that leads the league in rushing yards (178.0) per game entering Week 4. Newton, of course, added a new dimension to the Patriots rushing attack as he is tied for the NFL rushing touchdown lead with four scores. Now that he'll miss this matchup, it will be curious to see if the Patriots return to an offense that looks more like the one Tom Brady ran throughout his tenure in New England. No matter if it's Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham under center, they are not as mobile as Newton and likely could not run exactly the same offense as they have over the first three weeks.
What they can continue to do, however, is lean on a deep backfield. While Newton has been a focal point to that running game, the Patriots have been getting contributions from their stable of backs as well. Sony Michel is coming into Sunday fresh off his first 100-yard game since the 2018 AFC Championship against the Chiefs. Rex Burkhead has also stepped up in a big way in the absence of James White, totaling three touchdowns in Week 3. While, meanwhile, is primed to make his return on Monday after missing two games following the loss of his father in a car accident. The ground game could be a solid area of attack for New England as the Chiefs are allowing 153 rushing yards per game this season. That said, they'll need to keep the score close to commit to the run, which is something Baltimore failed to do last week against this squad.
The passing game will be key for Hoyer and the Patriots offense to keep pace with the Chiefs' high-powered offense. New England is currently in the bottom half of the league in passing yards per game (231.0) through the first three weeks.
As for the Chiefs offense, it's the same old dominance we've seen from them essentially since Patrick Mahomes became the starter. The reigning Super Bowl MVP dazzled in his last performance against the Ravens, completing 73.8% of his passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns. He added 26 more yards and an additional score on the ground. Something of note with Mahomes, however, as the calendar has now officially moved into October: Moving out of September has historically proved beneficial for the opponent as Mahomes' completion percentage drops by nearly 4%, his passing yards per game dips by an average of 43 yards and has 18-7 touchdowns to interception ratio in October compared to his 32 touchdowns and zero picks in the month of September.
While the Patriots defense came into 2020 after a dominating showing throughout last season, the unit hasn't looked the same this year, particularly with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, who has been called for a number of DPI penalties. One spot they've continued to do well with, however, is tight end. They shut down Darren Waller in Week 3 and have a strong history against Travis Kelce as well.
For what it's worth, the road team has won each of the previous two games between these two squads. For his career, Patrick Mahomes has a 1-2 SU record as a starter against the Patriots (including postseason). Once this game concludes, however, Mahomes should climb to .500 against Belichick as it's hard to see the Patriots offense keeping up with the K.C. aerial attack, especially after the news that Newton will be out. They could try to dominate on the ground to keep the ball out of Mahomes' hands, but that didn't exactly work for the Ravens when they tried to do the same thing in Week 3. I also still don't trust the Patriots secondary yet with Gilmore in a bit of a slump to begin 2020.
Score: Kansas City 30, New England 10