BOSTON (CBS) — The road to Super Bowl LIII in the AFC will go through Kansas City.
With a win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs earned themselves a trip to the AFC Championship Game — which they’ll be hosting next Sunday night.
That means that if the Patriots are able to get past the San Diego Chargers on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, they’ll have to make the trip to Kansas City next weekend for the AFC title game. The Chiefs earned home-field advantage throughout the playoffs based on their 12-4 record. The Patriots earned the No. 2 seed in the AFC with their 11-5 record.
That might not leave Patriots fans feeling particularly encouraged, considering New England’s most recent body of work in Kansas City. The Chiefs dominated the Patriots, 41-14, back in Week 4 of the 2014 season — a game which served as the low point for an eventual Super Bowl-winning season for the Patriots.
The Patriots lost their other most recent game in Arrowhead, though that was all the way back in 2005, when the Chiefs won 26-16. The Chiefs led that game 26-3 late in the third quarter.
The Patriots did win in K.C. in 2004, but Brady’s overall passing numbers in his three trips to Kansas City are dicey: he’s thrown three touchdowns and six interceptions, while completing 58.2 percent of his passes for an average of 241 yards per game.
On the other hand, the Patriots were able to match the Chiefs in a high-flying, high-scoring game earlier this season in Week 6. Tom Brady and the Patriots won that game, 43-30, thanks to a classic Rob Gronkowski performance on the final drive.
Overall, since Bill Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000, the Patriots have gone 6-3 against the Chiefs in the regular season and 1-0 against the Chiefs in the playoffs.
With presumed MVP Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, the Chiefs ranked No. 1 in the NFL in both offensive yards per game (425.6) and points per game (35.3). They showed some vulnerabilities on defense, though, ranking 31st in yards allowed per game (405.5) and 24th in points allowed per game (26.3).
The Patriots showed some more balance, ranking fifth and fourth in the same respective offensive categories while ranking 21st in yards allowed and seventh in points allowed. However, the Patriots went 3-5 on the road this season, allowing 24 points per game in those eight contests — compared to 16.6 points allowed per game at home. The Patriots also averaged just 21.6 points per game on the road, compared to 32.9 points per game at home.
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Chargers divisional round clash on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Sunday morning with a special hour-long edition of Patriots GameDay at 11 a.m., kick off is set for 1 p.m., and we’ll break it all down and hear from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady LIVE on Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV after the game!