Brian Waters, New England Patriots

The Other Side: New England Patriots

Each week I contact Kansas City Chiefs’ opponent writers, bloggers, broadcasters and sports personalities when writing my “5 Reasons the Chiefs could lose” article.

Week 11 was no different, but to my surprise, Boston/New England area sports personalities were much more ready and eager to reply to my request for quotes to include in 5 Reasons the New England Patriots could beat the Kansas City Chiefs than personalities from any other opponent since the inception of this column in early 2010.

Some quotes were cut from the post, others came in late, so here are a few more points from the New England area as to why the Patriots will beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

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Dan Duggan, Boston Hearald (@dduggan21 on Twitter)I think there are plenty of obvious reasons why the Patriots will win on Monday (the QB matchup seems slightly tilted in New England’s favor), but if I had to come up with a less obvious reason, how about the much-maligned Patriots defense? The unit has understandably been skewered for most of the season, but it really hasn’t been as horrible as it may seem. They give up the most yards in the league, but they’re 17th in points allowed. That’s not exactly the head of the class, but middle of the pack should be good enough with this offense. The key to beating the Pats D is to throw. Is there any reason to expect Tyler Palko to be able to carve up a defense? If the Pats can cause a few turnovers, as they did last week against the Jets, this could get ugly.

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Jon Scott, Patriots Insider at Scout.com (@jscottNFL on Twitter):  The Patriots are finally getting back into their groove on offense, putting up over 30 points against a solid New York Jets defense last Sunday night. Before that, New England struggled to beat the Cowboys while losing to the Steelers and the Giants.

While The Chiefs may be without Matt Cassel on Sunday, they still have a lot of talent on the roster. The defense in particular could cause issues for New England’s passing game if Romeo Crennel uses his old systems to get pressure on Brady.

Crennel’s no dummy, he understands that trying to pressure Brady up the middle is key. But if Crennel can’t get a handle on matchups in this game, New England should be able to put up enough points to force Kansas City into a shootout. Any shootout favors Brady and company. New England’s defense tore up the pass protection of the Jets when they got into a shootout. I would expect similar results with Kansas City.

I expect to see a lot of Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez in this game. The receivers for New England tend to draw coverage away from the tight ends. Even when teams try to double Gronkowski and/or Wes Welker Hernandez gets wide open. You’ve seen this before in games when Hernandez grabs a pass over the middle then rumbles for 20-30 yards before you see a defender near him.

Brady is exceptional at reading pressure and coverages, and he’s fully aware of what Crennel’s systems try to do to an offense. Expect some deep balls to open up the running game. Some runs to test the front 7 and then a lot of specific patterns designed to get receivers free. It will be a tough challenge for Kansas City.

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Rob “Hardy” Poole, 98.5 The Sports Hub (@hardy985 on Twitter): 1. Chiefs quarterback uncertainty 2. Pats O and D playing with new confidence after win over Jets 3. Chad Ocho Cinco actually caught a pass!

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Thanks again to everyone from the New England area who took the time to reply to my texts and emails this week.

Some Monday thoughts…

As Monday Night Football approaches, I find myself becoming increasingly more angry about the Chiefs releasing Brain Waters outright before the beginning of the season. I was listening to 98.5 The Sports Hub online this morning. One caller said, “The Chiefs O-line must be pretty good to release a guy like Brian Waters.”

As an outsider, I see how Patriots fans would have the same thought process. Brian Waters was released by the Chiefs and has started every game for the New England Patriots in 2011.

However, sitting in KC, we know the reality… Brian Waters was a vocal leader who was not afraid to stand up against management when he felt the team was being led in the wrong direction. That being said, this Chiefs offensive line has been the absolute worst area of the Chiefs in 2011.

How big is Scott Pioli’s ego that he thinks he could make this team better by releasing a 5 time Pro Bowler, 2 time All-Pro and Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner… with absolutely nothing in return?!

The Boston Globe calls Brain Waters a “Rock.” Although banged up (left knee) in the Patriots week 10, Sunday night matchup against the New York Jets, it is apparent Waters has changed his out-spoken ways, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I have no earthly idea what you’re talking about…” Waters says, responding to questions about his injury.

As apparent in Shalise Manza Young’s article, Brian Waters is loved and respected by teammates for his leadership, work ethic and personality and the New England Patriots organization trusts Waters to protect their most valuable commodity — Tom Brady.

Once again, my prediction:

Chiefs 10, Patriots 45

With a pick 6 from the Pats D.

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