Five Patriots who need a big game against the Chiefs
The New England Patriots seemingly should have all their key players that are healthy on the field Saturday for their divisional round match up with the Kansas City Chiefs. They will need all their players to be on their A-game, but a few more than the rest. Here are five under the radar players that need to have a big game on Saturday for the New England Patriots.
James White: The Kansas City Chiefs are pretty strong all across the board on defense. You could say their weakest area on defense is their line backing core. Their pass rush against the Patriots sub-par offensive line is a bad match up for New England. Therefore, the quick passing game needs to get involved and James White needs to be apart of that. Get him in space with less athletic linebackers and allow him to make plays. Every time he touches the ball he makes plays.
Danny Amendola: With Julian Edelman being back on the field, the Chiefs defense will likely key on him and also Rob Gronkowski. That will allow Danny Amendola to go back to where he is most successful and that is in a more favorable match up with less coverage. Danny Amendola has been banged up with a knee injury of late, and the two weeks of rest will be to his advantage. The Patriots have been terrible of late on third down. This week Danny Amendola coming underneath on short crossing routes on third down will be essential to a playoff victory against a very good defense.
Marcus Cannon: This is a tall task because Marcus Cannon has been so bad of late. This Saturday Tamba Hali and Justin Houston will be trying to get after Tom Brady who is protected by a bad offensive line. If the line can’t protect Brady this week, the Patriots will lose. Sebastian Vollmer has an ankle sprain but is still expected to give it a go. He is reliable when he is out there. The key to beating the Patriots in the postseason has always been getting after Tom Brady and making him uncomfortable in the pocket. It is simple, if Brady is protected for the better part of this game the Patriots will win. If not, the season is over. Marcus Cannon plays a big part in that.
Rob Ninkovich: When you are in the postseason it is always a good idea to rely on your experienced veterans. Who better to lean on than Rob Ninkovich who is known for coming up with the big play at the right time. This week the opposing quarterback is Alex Smith who can take off and run for big gains. The key to not allowing that is to not allow Smith to get out of the pocket. With the uncertainty of Chandler Jones at defensive end, that means Rob Ninkovich will need to play a huge role. As a Patriots fan you can almost bet on that because he is arguably the most consistent player of the Bill Belichick era.
Jamie Collins: In last year’s divisional round against the Baltimore Ravens, Jamie Collins had arguably his worst game of his career. He was pushed around by offensive lineman when trying to stop the run, and looked silly when trying to cover Justin Forsett in the passing game. This week Collins will more than likely spend the majority of the night covering Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce who has been dominant of late. If Collins can limit him and force Alex Smith to go to other receivers than the Chiefs offense will have a tough night.