The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs hope to settle things on Monday night after their game was pushed back a day. That was because Patriots’ starting quarterback, Cam Newton, tested positive for the coronavirus. With fingers crossed, the NFL held their breath and prayed that no other players would return a positive test.
Fortunately, or at least of early Monday morning, Newton is the only player that has tested positive. Practice squad quarterback for the Chiefs, Jordan Ta’amu, tested positive. However, Ta’amu is not on the active roster, so he doesn’t impact this game.
More tests will be carried out on Monday. Fingers crossed that there are no additional positive cases, and Newton is the only player on either active roster who is positive. Newton is the one player that Bill Belichick didn’t want to see in this situation and here we are. He will have to sit out this week and possibly next week.
Newton can’t return to the team until he receives a negative test. In the meantime, the Patriots will send out old reliable Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium. Belichick must feel more comfortable with Hoyer under center than he does Jarrett Stidham.
Stidham was expected to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback in the summer. That was before Belichick made the decision to sign Cam. Lights should have been going off then regarding Stidham. If Belichick was confident in Stidham, then he wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on Newton. As far as we knew, Stidham and Newton were battling in spring training for the starting job.
I don’t believe the quarterback battle was as close as we thought. Newton has been great for the Patriots so far, as he’s helped lead them to a record of 2-1. The Patriots were a yard away from going 3-0 with a win over the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 2.
They’re coming off a dominant 36-20 win over the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. Sony Michel had a big day, as he rushed for 117 yards on 9 carries. The Chiefs could be down Chris Jones on the defensive line, which the Patriots would gladly welcome for their ground game. Michel is dealing with a quad injury and may not play, though.
Keep in mind that the offense is going to look different without Cam on the field. The read option is not going to be used with Hoyer. The playbook is going to resemble more of what we saw with Tom Brady. Hoyer spent his first three years with the Patriots, and half of 2017 and all of 2018, so knowing the playbook shouldn’t be a problem for him on Monday night.
The Patriots have a major challenge on their hands tonight. Even with Newton, it was going to be difficult to win at Arrowhead. The Chiefs are coming off a super impressive win over the Ravens in Baltimore by a score of 34-20. It was 34-20, but it felt like a much bigger win for the Chiefs.
This was after they struggled to put away the Chargers in a 23-20 game the week before. The Pats are hoping that’s the Chiefs they see on Monday and not the team in Baltimore. Patrick Mahomes and the defense couldn’t do anything wrong in Week 3. Head below for our free New England Patriots vs. KC Chiefs pick for October 5, 2020. Get even more picks for this matchup with player props.
New England Patriots vs. KC Chiefs NFL Week 4 Betting Odds:
Patriots vs. Chiefs Prediction:
Plenty of attention will be on Brian Hoyer at Arrowhead on Monday night. He will be asked to do a lot in this game against a very talented Chiefs team. His receivers are going to have to help him out and make it easier on him. If somebody like N’Keal Harry steps ups and has a big game, then this one might get interesting. It’s absolutely necessary if the Patriots are going to pull off an upset.
The game plan is going to be simple for the Patriots. Run the football to set up the play-action. It worked out beautifully against the Raiders last week. Michel had a big game and everything else fell into place for the Patriots. Now, if Michel can’t play, could this be a breakout game for Damien Harris? He’s a talented back out of Alabama who may ultimately end up taking the starting job away from Michel.
Hoyer has a lot of experience, having played in the NFL since 2009. Hoyer reached a career-high in 2015 with the Texans. He threw for 19 touchdowns and 7 interceptions through 11 games. In 2016, Hoyer threw for 6 touchdowns and no interceptions as a member of the Chicago Bears. He’s definitely serviceable enough to move the ball for the Patriots tonight.
Note that Chris Jones is 50-50 to play on Monday night. He is currently listed as questionable. Jones has been limited in practice all week, so even if he does play, he will not be playing at 100% in this contest. Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed fractured his collarbone against the Ravens on Monday night, so he will not be available. That’s a bit of a bigger loss than it might appear on paper.
Could the Chiefs take the Patriots lightly tonight? They are coming off a huge win last week, and might overlook this New England squad. It feels crazy to say overlook the Patriots, but with Hoyer at the helm, it’s possible they go into this one feeling too loose, like what happened in Los Angeles against the Chargers.
The last time anyone was talking about a team overlooking the Patriots was probably in Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams. I believe that was the last time the Patriots were double-digit underdogs in a game as well.
Don’t expect Belichick to come into this game completely blind. He will have a solid game-plan in the works for Hoyer to execute. This looks like too many points for me to lay on the Chiefs. I know they’re the Chiefs, but Hoyer isn’t completely garbage. He’s a fine enough game manager that can keep this game within striking distance at least. I will take the points on New England.