We’re on to the Chiefs.
Saturday night’s battle between the Bengals and Steelers ultimately determined next week’s opponent for New England, and it looks like the Patriots will battle the Kansas City Chiefs when they play their first postseason game next Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
The Chiefs easily disposed of the Texans in a 30-0 win in Houston, with the only question after the game being which city they would be headed to next.
At first, it seemed like the Bengals were going to potentially upset Pittsburgh after picking off the Steelers with 1:43 to go in the game and leading 16-15, but they fumbled one play later and then imploded on Pittsburgh’s ensuing drive, committing two back-to-back penalties for Unnecessary roughness and Unsportsmanlike Conduct. That implosion in the final moments helped move the Steelers from the Bengals’ 47-yard line down to the Cincinnati 17, setting up an easy 35-yard field goal to help Pittsburgh retake the lead at 18-16 with 0:18 to go in the contest.
The loss dropped coach Marvin Lewis to 0-7 in the postseason and ended their playoff run. Given how poorly he handled his players in that final stretch, his time may finally come to an end and may ultimately cost him his job.
For now, the Patriots will get a visit from a Chiefs team who won their 11th straight game thanks to a performance by Alex Smith that saw the veteran quarterback miss just five passes on the afternoon after finishing 17-of-22 for 190 yards and a touchdown along with one interception. They also rushed for 141 yards against a Texans defense that had been playing fairly well but spent most of the day on the field after the Chiefs’ defense held Houston to 6-of-14 on third down.
The Chiefs defense also looked good, having their way with former Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer, picking him off four times and sacking him three times. It sets up an interesting battle as Kansas City was the team that helped turn New England’s season around last year after blowing out the Patriots in Week 4 in a tough 41-14 defeat on Monday night football.
The two teams will face off next Saturday afternoon in Foxboro at 4:35pm ET.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary