Why Sunday’s Patriots-Chiefs game is unfamiliar territory for Bill Belichick, Co.


For years, the Patriots were undoubtedly one of the best teams in the NFL. Six Super Bowls since 2002 will do that.

And because of this, they were always favored by Vegas to win almost every game they played.

But now that Tom Brady has departed for Tampa Bay and Cam Newton has taken over, things are a little different.

The Patriots are currently seven-point underdogs for Sunday’s game in Kansas City against the Chiefs, which is just the third time they are at least seven-point underdogs since 2002.

The other two games were Week 1 against the Cardinals in 2016 when Brady was suspended and Week 17 against the Texans in 2009 when the team was already locked into playing on Wild Card Weekend.

According to ESPN’s Stats and Info, the Patriots have been seven-point or more underdogs 11 times in the Bill Belichick era, but eight of them came in his first two seasons with the team.

With that being said, the Patriots are not going into Kansas City scared.

“We're not going into the game scared to death of how we're going to do this, how we're going to do that, we got no shot,” Devin McCourty said Wednesday. “We're not going in with that mindset. But I would also say because we beat them in the past or had tight games with them, that's not giving us this confidence of like, we've done it before, we'll be good.

“Like, we know we know what it takes to go out there and have a good game against them. And we know how hard that is to do for one, for a whole game. But play in and play out. Like we know we've played this team where we're holding them and in the fourth quarter explode for 20-something, 30 points. We've been in those situations, too. So I will say we have good confidence. But that confidence only comes from having a good week of practice and doing all the things we need to do.”

Kansas City enters the game as the defending Super Bowl champs and a perfect 3-0 on the year.