The New England Patriots are betting favorites for Sunday's Week 14 matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium, but that hasn't stopped a ton of people from picking against the defending Super Bowl champions.
One person who likes the Patriots' chances this weekend is former NFL star Brian Westbrook, who spent much of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles and lost to New England in Super Bowl XXXIX.
"This is what I know about the New England Patriots at home -- they've won 21 straight, including the playoffs, going back to last year," Westbrook said Wednesday on FOX Sports 1 show "First Things First." "They're really good at home. This year, that defense has only given up two touchdowns with seven interceptions, so they get at the quarterback. They attack the football. The last three quarterbacks that have played there in New England have only averaged 189 yards passing in the football game. That's how good that defense is at home, in particular.
"When you talk about Mahomes-Brady, you certainly have to factor in the defense they're playing. I have no faith in Kansas City and this new defense that has produced a bunch of turnovers. Tyrann Mathieu has been great. However, I'm not sure they can do that going on the road, going into Foxboro and winning there. That's a different thing for that football team. I'm not so sure that I would take Mahomes over Brady. In fact, I would take Brady over Mahomes in this matchup ... based on the defense."
The Patriots haven't lost at Gillette Stadium since Week 4 of the 2017 campaign. This run of 21 consecutive home wins includes a 43-40 win over the Chiefs in Week 6 of last season. The Patriots also beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in last season's AFC Championship Game before winning Super Bowl LIII two weeks later.
For the Patriots to improve to 3-0 against Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs teams, they need Tom Brady and his offense to play a lot better than we've seen over the last several weeks. The Patriots scored 30-plus points in six of their first seven games. However, they haven't crossed the 30-point mark since a Week 7 win over the New York Jets. New England has averaged only 18 points scored over the last four games.
The schedule got a lot tougher and the Patriots offense has seen its production and execution suffer. Injuries and new additions still learning the offense have been factors in the offense's decline, but New England's margin for error is razor thin right now.
The Patriots already have lost control of the race for the AFC's No. 1 seed, and they only lead the Buffalo Bills by a single game for first place in the AFC East. A loss to the Chiefs would put the Patriots in a situation where they're in real danger of not earning a first-round playoff bye. The Chiefs would not earn a first-round bye if the season ended today, but a victory over the Patriots would move Kansas City to within a game of a top-two seed.
With so much at stake in Foxboro on Sunday, this Patriots-Chiefs matchup could be the most intense game of the 2019 season so far.
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Ex-NFL star explains why he likes Patriots' chances of beating Chiefs originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston