The Patriots made one
transaction this week, signing OL Marcus
Cannon to the active roster
and releasing DB Ross
Ventrone, who played sparingly in Sunday's win
against the Jets. DB Malcolm Williams was also added to the practice
squad. This marks the 11th time Ventrone was involved in a transaction
With no certainty yet on CB Devin McCourty's
status, the Patriots will once again rely on a makeshift secondary
Monday. Rookies Jeff
Tarpinian and Sterling
Moore, who played major
roles against the Jets, likely will be called upon again during the
game against the Chiefs.
McCourty did not practice Thursday or Friday after leaving last week's
game with a shoulder injury; it appears unlikely he'll suit up Monday
Spikes also missed practice this week
due to a knee injury and will be OUT Monday night.
--LB Dane Fletcher
missed practice Thursday and Friday due to a thumb
injury, and he's OUT.
Patriots' pass rush was at its best last weekend against the Jets, led
by Andre Carter's
4.5 sacks. The defense showed more aggressiveness
than it had in recent weeks, which helped contain New York quarterback
Expect to a similar approach this week. Even
with a makeshift secondary, the Patriots can feel confident knowing if
the pass rush does its job, it really won't matter who's in the
defensive backfield Monday.
On top of that, the Chiefs will
be without starting quarterback Matt
Cassel, so this would be the
perfect time for the Patriots to put newcomer Tyler Palko under
unwanted pressure. It's unlikely Palko will tear apart their secondary,
so perhaps they could get away with more mistakes due to aggressiveness
than they would be able to if they were playing against a better, more
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Patriots CB Sterling Moore vs. Chiefs WR
-- The Chiefs don't figure to get much going offensively without QB
Matt Cassel in the lineup, but backup QB Tyler Palko might be more apt
to take chances down the field if Bowe can get himself open in
one-on-one coverage. Kyle
Arrington likely will draw the assignment
against Dwayne Bowe,
which means Breaston could benefit from this
Chiefs RB Dexter
McCluster vs. Patriots
LB Jerod Mayo
Now more than even, the Patriots need to be stout defensively against
the run, because it's unlikely the Chiefs will be able to get in sync
with their passing game. The front seven did its job last time, even
with some key players out of the lineup. Mayo will need a repeat
performance against the Chiefs' two-pronged attack of McCluster and
though McCluster is more of a threat these days.
Patriots DE Andre Carter vs. Chiefs LT
Coming off a team-record, 4.5-sack performance against the Jets, Carter
likely will be the focal point of Kansas City's protection scheme.
Albert probably won't draw this assignment alone. The Chiefs have
enough depth in the backfield with Le'Ron McClain and
to help out with chipping at Carter, but the onus
eventually will fall on Albert to protect his quarterback's blind side.
Much changes when the starting quarterback leaves the lineup with an
injury, especially when he's replaced by a quarterback who has not yet
made an NFL start. Tyler Palko gets the nod in place of Matt Cassel
(hand), and Palko's sum total of action in five seasons banging around
the edges of the NFL does not equal one quarter of play. With him at
the controls, it will change some of what the Chiefs like to do on
offense. Palko is more mobile than Cassel, and the Chiefs may factor
that into their game plan, especially considering the protection
problems their offense has had in recent weeks.
personnel changes in the base defense in last Sunday's game, when OLB
and SS Jon McGraw
were pulled from the action, replaced
by OLB Justin Houston
and SS Reshard Langford.
Whether that duo will
remain in the starting lineup is unknown.
--QB Tyler Palko stepped right into the role of starting quarterback
and directing the Chiefs' offense without a problem in his new role.
"We went out (for practice) and there wasn't a blip, everything was
normal," head coach Todd Haley said. "He just stepped in and took
over." Palko has not started an NFL game and is five years removed from
his last start in college.
--QB Matt Cassel's status on the
active roster is unlikely to be decided until next week. Coach Todd
Haley said the team wants to approach the immediate future with some
caution because there's a slight chance that Cassel could be healed
before the end of the season. The team thinks a week of recovery will
provided a clearer picture of his prospects.
did not practice fully on Thursday due to a left leg injury he suffered
in last Sunday's game against Denver. Dorsey spent the workout riding a
stationary bike. Coach Todd Haley said the problem was not "severe" and
expected Dorsey to play Monday.
to have recovered from the groin injury that kept him out of last
Sunday's game against Denver. Williams was back on the practice field
Thursday and appeared to be moving without hesitation or problem.
--CB Brandon Carr
was a limited participant in the Chiefs' practices on
Thursday and Friday. In last Sunday's game, he left the field in the
first half with what appeared to be a right knee injury. Carr came back
and played in the second half. The Kansas City defense needs all of its
best players ready to go in facing the Patriots and Tom Brady.
Romeo Crennel in charge of coordinating the defense, the Chiefs have
somebody who has seen Tom Brady up close and personal. But Crennel
can't run anymore, and he doesn't rush the passer, so all he can do is
try to put his struggling defense in position to stop a New England
offense that averages 432 yards per game. One of the best ways to slow
Brady is to limit his time on the field, so the Kansas City defense is
going to need some help from the team's offense if the Chiefs are going
to win the game. When the Chiefs have the ball, they must score points.
If they can put together long drives against a Patriots defense that
allows 412 yards a game, that would be helpful.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
LT Branden Albert or RT Barry
Richardson vs. Patriots DE Andre Carter
-- It's been a rejuvenating season for Carter, who has nine
as many as the Kansas City defense has been able to pull down. The
11-year veteran is coming off a performance in which he had a
franchise-record 4.5 sacks against the Jets. The Chiefs' pass
protection has fallen apart in recent weeks, as Kansas City has allowed
nine sacks in the last two games and 21 other hits on the quarterback.
QB Tyler Palko gets the start for the injured Matt Cassel, and as Palko
is a left-hander, it's Richardson who will have his blind side. The
fourth-year tackle has struggled all season.
vs. Patriots WR Wes
Welker -- How does a defense stop
Welker in the New England offense? It doesn't, and the Chiefs will not
either. In nine games, Welker has 72 catches for 1,006 yards, a pace
that would leave him with 128 catches for 1,788 yards. Welker's least
productive game this year was five receptions. In only four of nine
games has he had less than 100 yards. Flowers is a physical match for
Welker, and while he won't have one-on-one coverage all day, the star
receiver will be his primary responsibility.
Patriots news: Patirots
Chiefs news: Warpaint
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Patriots - Chiefs: Game Plans & Matchups
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