Monday Night NFL Picks: Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots Monday Night NFL Week 11 Vegas Odds, Free Picks, and Expert Predictions on ESPN 11/21/11: After winning the AFC West last season, the Kansas City Chiefs earned the right to face the fellow AFC division winners, including the New England Patriots this Monday night. Unfortunately, injuries have decimated the Chiefs’ roster, leaving them with a 4-5 record and in the basement of the AFC West. Meanwhile, the Patriots roll into the meeting with a 6-3 record, sitting atop the AFC East. The matchup has blowout written all over it, and New England is a hefty 15-point favorite.
It’s tough to find a silver lining for the Chiefs. They lost star running back Jamaal Charles early in the year to a knee injury, and starting quarterback Matt Cassel joined him with a hand injury last weekend. Both players are likely out for the year, leaving the unproven Tyler Palko to take over at QB, while Jackie Battle and Dexter McCluster split time at running back. The makeshift lineup hasn’t been all that successful, considering Kansas City was destroyed by the then-winless Miami Dolphins two weeks ago and lost to the Denver last weekend despite the Broncos completing just two passes.
If the Chiefs couldn’t beat a Denver team that couldn’t even throw the ball, it is going to take a miracle for Kanas City to knock off a New England team leading the NFL in passing yards. Tom Brady and company should have no problem lightning up the Chiefs’ mediocre secondary, and considering the hapless state of the Kansas City offense, the Patriots’ offense should enjoy plenty of time with the ball. The teams that have been able to slow down the New England have done it by pressuring Brady and being physical with the receivers. The Chiefs don’t have the personnel to do either thing well, which should mean a big day for Brady, receiver Wes Welker, tight end Rob Gronkowski and the rest of the Patriots’ offensive weapons.
While stopping the New England offense would have been an issue for Kansas City even at full strength, the Patriots’ defense has been rather porous this season, especially in the secondary. However, losing Cassel will make it hard for the Chiefs to take advantage of New England’s biggest weakness. Receivers Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston form an effective trio, but unless Palko performs above and beyond expectations, it won’t matter how much firepower Kansas City has on offense.
In the end, it is hard to believe that a team that has been outscored 48-13 the last two weeks by Miami and Denver can stay within striking distance of the high-powered Patriots’ offense. If the Kansas City defense couldn’t stop Tim Tebow when he completed just two passes, the unit has no chance of stopping Brady and company. Meanwhile, the Chiefs don’t have any playmakers on offense, leaving them powerless to take advantage of New England’s biggest trouble spot. Granted, 15 points is a huge spread by NFL standards, but this is one scenario when it is warranted. More importantly, the Patriots are more than capable of turning this game into a lopsided affair.
Prediction: New England Patriots (-16.5) Cover the Spread
Free NFL Football Picks and Predictions: New England -16.5
|Week 11 NFL Football: Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots
Time: 8:35 PM EST on ESPN
Vegas Odds – Favorite: New England -16.5 Total: Over/Under 46.5
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