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5 Patriots-related thoughts from Sunday, including big showdown in Foxboro next week vs. Chiefs

Ryan Hannable
October 07, 2018 - 10:59 pm

Even though the Patriots were off Sunday, it was still an exciting day of action across the league, and as always there were many storylines surrounding the Patriots.

Of course, New England was off following its 38-24 win over the Colts Thursday night at Gillette Stadium to improve to 3-2 on the year.

Here are five Patriots-related thoughts from Sunday.

1. Kansas City made a statement with a 30-14 win at home against the Jaguars. The Chiefs are now 5-0 and will come to Gillette Stadium next Sunday night for one of the biggest games of the season so far. Kansas City’s offense could give the Patriots some issues, as it has a ton of speed and could present some major matchup problems for their defense, which lacks speed overall. Through the first four games, the Chiefs defense seemed vulnerable, but it had its best game of the season Sunday in forcing five turnovers, including four interceptions of Blake Bortles. There’s no question the Patriots will have their work cut out for them going up against Patrick Mahomes and the speedy Kansas City offense.

2. Interestingly enough, despite Kansas City being a perfect 5-0 and the Patriots being 3-2, New England has opened as 3.5-point favorites in the game. This is a bit of a surprise given how well the Chiefs have started this year, and they showed last year in Week 1 they can win in Foxboro. For the record, the Patriots have only been underdogs five times in the history of Gillette Stadium in a a regular-season game with the last time being 2014 against the Broncos. They are 4-1 straight up in these games with the only loss coming in 2005 against the Colts.

3. After getting off to a 1-2 start, the Patriots are now back atop the AFC East standings. With the Dolphins falling to the Bengals, they are both 3-2, but the Patriots own the tiebreaker thanks to their win in Foxboro last Sunday. This just shows how quickly things can change and how despite the sluggish start, things are back to normal in the division.

4.The two other teams in the AFC East — the Bills and Jets -- are both 2-3 following wins Sunday. Buffalo had an impressive 13-12 win at home against the Titans, while the Jets beat up on the Broncos, 34-16. It’s still pretty hard to see any team in the division challenging the Patriots, but young quarterbacks Josh Allen and Sam Darnold have been fairly impressive to start the season and could be the stability these teams have desperately lacked in recent years.

5. Watching the Browns beat the Ravens in overtime it was hard not to notice the impact of Jamie Collins. Collins finished with 12 tackles in the game, which were tied for the most on the team. Before Sunday, the most he had in a game this year were six. He’s been a major part of the defense, playing 78 percent of the defensive snaps in his second full year in Cleveland. The linebacker who Bill Belichick shipped away has missed significant time over the past few seasons due to injury.

Related: Sunday 7: This could be turning point for Patriots