The New England Patriots are favored by 4.5 points against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, but faith among Pats fans has to be dwindling by the day.
Yes, from the drama surrounding Chandler Jones to numerous injuries to numerous players, including Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots may actually be in trouble this weekend, especially since the Chiefs have won 11 straight games.
Should the Patriots be concerned right now? Yes and no.
“The Chandler Jones stuff definitely had to be a headache for New England, but if there’s one franchise that can block out some of the distractions, I give the nod to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady,” Vegas virtuoso and sportsline.com analyst Todd Fuhrman said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “The bigger news today was Rob Gronkowski missing practice, citing a sore knee and bad back. By all accounts, even if he goes – which he will Saturday – he may be nowhere close to 100 percent, and if he’s limited, it changes the dynamic of the Patriots’ offense, even with a healthy Julian Edelman back out there.”
Edelman has not played since breaking his foot against the Giants on Nov. 15. The Patriots lost four of six in Edelman’s absence, as he still finished second on the team with 692 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Still, Edelman is unlikely to be at 100 percent. Neither is Gronkowski, (knee) who led the team with 72 catches for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns.
That’s a lot of hobbled production for the Patriots.
“So what you’ve seen is the market tick down toward Kansas City from 5 to 4.5,” Fuhrman explained. “You already saw a big move early in the week on the total: 44.5 down to 42.”
Kansas City, meanwhile, could be without Jeremy Maclin (ankle), who will be a game-time decision. Maclin led the Chiefs with 87 catches for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Kansas City could be without the services of their top playmaker in the passing game,” Fuhrman said. “As we’ve seen, if Kansas City can’t stretch the field, it makes things very difficult for Alex Smith to move the ball through the air.”