The Patriots get the Chiefs at the right time.
Tyler Palko gets his first career start at quarterback for the Chiefs, who have lost two in a row, including a 31-3 shellacking at the hands of the Dolphins.
The Patriots got back on track last Sunday night with a statement win over the Jets. The Chiefs have shown flashes this season, mainly during a four-game win streak, but they have looked out of sorts in their last two contests.
Without Matt Cassel operating the Chiefs' passing game, the Patriots' young and inexperienced secondary catches a huge break, as the Chiefs have some electric receivers. It will be a test to keep them in check, as the Patriots still have the league's worst defense. I expect the Pats to do everything they can to confuse Palko and take advantage of his inexperience.
On the offensive side of the ball, Tom Brady should have plenty of time to throw, as the Chiefs have not been effective rushing the passer outside of OLB Tamba Hali. If OTs Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer can keep Hali from getting into the backfield, Brady should be able to pick apart the Chiefs' secondary. This also could be an opportunity for the run game to get back on track against a Chiefs team that is 26th against the run.
Brady, as shown in the season opener, thrives under the national spotlight of "Monday Night Football." The Patriots can't look past the Chiefs, especially considering their weapons at receiver, but this is certainly a game New England should win after regaining confidence last week.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Chiefs 17