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Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season will feature a marquee Sunday Night Football game on Sunday, October 14, 2018 when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. EST on NBC.
The Chiefs are led by head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Kansas City comes into the game with a 5-0 record. The Chiefs defeated the Jaguars in Week 5.
The Patriots are led by head coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski. New England owns a 3-2 record, and is coming off a Week 5 win over the Colts.
Here’s how our experts see the game playing out.
Zack Rosenblatt: The Chiefs defense had its first truly solid performance of the season against the Jaguars, but Tom Brady is no Blake Bortles. Now that the Patriots have a full staple of weapons at receiver and an emerging talent at running back in Sony Michel, they should start rolling. It’s tradition for the Chiefs to start out hot and flame out before the end of the season. That was before Patrick Mahomes. This might be the game of the week. Chiefs 35, Patriots 31.
Mike Kaye: The Chiefs are on fire and appear to be the top team in the AFC. They’ll be challenged for that title against the Patriots. However, Mahomes seems to be on the verge of a legendary second season and his weapons have been making big plays for him throughout the early going. It’s hard to expect that to change, especially against a middling Patriots defense. Chiefs 30, Patriots 26.
Matthew Stypulkowski: Normally, the old axiom is that you don’t bet against Tom Brady. But so far this year the smart money has been on Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs. Kansas City’s offense looks absolutely unstoppable and the Patriots’ defense isn’t exactly the league’s strongest. Chiefs 35, Patriots 21.
Darryl Slater: Fascinating matchup, as the 5-0 Chiefs and their young star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, head to New England, which has rebounded just fine from back-to-back losses in Weeks 2 and 3. Mahomes has a bright future, but Tom Brady is still pretty darn good. Patriots 42, Chiefs 38.
This is the most intriguing position because the Chiefs had to have wide receiver Marcus Kemp working at the position earlier this week in order to get through workouts.
“He’s a dynamic guy,” Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub said this week. “He can do a lot of different things. He’s a good tackler for us on special teams. We needed him at practice to help us get through practice because our numbers are down, so that’s why you’re seeing him out there (on defense).”
With Eric Berry still unable to go due to a sore heel and Eric Murray out after injuring his ankle last game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton approached Kemp to step in.
“It’s a little bit like riding a bike, but I won’t say I was great at it,” Kemp said. “I’m not going to pretend that I went out there and I was just as good as Eric Berry or anything like that, but after I started going, you kind of get the hang of it, and it started feeling natural again. Again, it’s been two days, so I can’t say that I can go out there an perform at the same level as someone that’s been learning it for years in the NFL, but I feel confident that I have the skills to go out and do what they need me to do.”
Kemp will round out a safety group Sunday that will be made up of Ron Parker, Jordan Lucas, Josh Shaw and Leon McQuay (newly added to the active roster on Saturday).
Lucas logged 56 snaps on defense and had one of the Chiefs’ four picks against Jacksonville last week after not being used on defense all season. Don’t sleep on Shaw either—some in Cincinnati thought Shaw to be a potential starter before he was injured this preseason.