The Kansas City Chiefs' various solutions to their current injury concerns could cause some unpleasant flashbacks for the New England Patriots and their fans on Sunday night.
Eric Berry, who still has a heel injury that has knocked him off track all season, Eric Murray with an ankle injury, and Daniel Sorensen and Armani Watts on injured reserve, is the chiefs' fourth ambulance Marcus Kemp. The Patriots forced wide receivers to switch sides in 2004 – do you remember Troy Brown playing cornerback? ̵
Although Kemp will not bring the game to safety on Sunday night, New England could still take advantage of the position. Jordan Lucas, one of Kansas City's potential starters, was acquired on August 31 in a deal with the Miami Dolphins. Josh Shaw, the Chiefs top backup on the position, was released on September 6 by the Cincinnati Bengals and signed October 2.
Chiefs' safety, Ron Parker, was released from Kansas City on March 12 and spent the summer with the Atlanta Falcons before being cut off on August 31. He joined the Chiefs on 2 September.
Who on the Patriots could exploit a flat security organ? Tight-end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman and back James White come to mind.
A New England lens could make Kansas City's right guard situation worse. With Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on injured reserve, former Patriots offensive lineman Jordan Devey is expected to start. Not really. Beat it.
Devey, he of tuba fame started four games for the Patriots at the right guard in 2014, when Dave DeGuglielmo coached the offensive line. He is one of the worst players New England has volunteered in recent history. The Patriots have resolved their offensive line problems this season only when Devey was removed from the starting XI. It's a small sample, but the Chiefs have an average of 2.25 fewer yards this season with Devey on the field.
Defensive tackles Lawrence Guy, Malcolm Brown and Danny Shelton should be able to overpower Devey in the run game. Defensive lineages Adam Butler, Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise, as well as linebackers Dont & a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy, were able to maltreat Devey as pass-rushers.
Perhaps the biggest injury to the Chiefs, however, is the Achilles tendon of Outside Linebacker Justin Houston. Houston, along with defensive tackle Chris Jones and Edge Rusher Dee Ford, is one of the team's best defenders.
Rookie Breeland Speaks is expected to jump in for Houston. But at 6ft-3, 285lbs, Speaks is less versatile in the passing game than Houston, who is charged with falling backwards than most of the top pass rushers.
Houston's injury could force Ford to take more cover. Kansas City's # 4 outside linebacker, Tanoh Kpassagnon, is questionable to play with an ankle injury. Kpassagnon, like Speaks, is a taller player at 6-foot-7, 289 pounds. The Chiefs also have Frank Zombo and Nate Orchard at linebacker. Both players were removed from the street this week.
Enemy teams average .22 more yards per carry and .29 more yards per run when Houston is off the field.
The Ascension potential of the Chiefs is covered with Houston. The longer Brady has to throw, the more he can take advantage of this weakened safety posture.
Yes, the unbeaten Chiefs are hot right now. But injuries could slow them down at Gillette Stadium on Sunday Night Football.
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