USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes
- Former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz breaks down the Chiefs-Patriots matchup and offers his best betting angle for Sunday Night Football.
- His perspective on the battle in the trenches offers vital insight to the showdown between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady.
Trench report is back and better than ever. I’m honing in on the biggest NFL matchup of Week 6: The Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.
While the primary focus of this article will still be on the battle in the trenches, I’ve expanded the reach of this column to go deep on the entire game.
>> All odds as of 1 p.m. ET on Thursday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
- Spread: Patriots -3.5
- Over/Under: 59.5
- Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV channel: NBC
Tom Brady is in his 18th season as a starter for the New England Patriots, and for 17 of those, he remarkably played with only two left tackles: Matt Light and Nate Solder. With Solder leaving for the Giants in free agency and no one else up for the task, the Patriots traded for Trent Brown and put the big fella at left tackle. Brown has exceeded expectations while stabilizing the unit.
The entire line is playing well. The unit is sixth in adjusted rushing yards and is near the top in pass protection as well, allowing sacks on only 4.8% of pass snaps.
This isn’t Earth-shattering analysis, but the Chiefs have to get pressure on Brady. He’s pressured on only 27% of pass reps, according to Pro Football Focus. But he’s completing only 47% of passes when under pressure compared to 74% when he’s not.
While the Chiefs’ pass rush wasn’t effective over the first three weeks, it has shown up big time in Weeks 4 and 5. The Chiefs combined for 38 pressures and nine sacks against the Broncos and Jaguars — more than they had combined for in Weeks 1-3.
A big reason for this success is Dee Ford, who is finally healthy, and leads NFL edge-rushers with 30 pressures this season, according to PFF.