This is obviously a season, across all four major team sports, unlike any other. And we just have to be prepared for strange things happening. One of those things happened to the New England Patriots as their showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs approached. Cam Newton tested positive for the coronavirus, and that has rendered him unavailable for the game that was originally slated to take place Sunday at 4:25 PM ET.

But that’s not all; the game itself was set back a day. So now it becomes the first half of a Monday night doubleheader (followed by the Falcons-Packers game). And it will begin at 7 PM ET at Arrowhead. BetAnySports always tests positive for reduced juice, so you’ll get better odds. And with Sports Betting Prime, you have a chance to place wagers while the game is happening.

If there was something especially impressive about what Kansas City did in its 34-20 win over Baltimore a week ago, it was the way they bottled up Lamar Jackson, who threw for just 97 yards, which translates to 3.5 yards per attempt. They shut off tight end Mark Andrews, who caught three passes for 22 yards.

So containing Newton wouldn’t have been out of the question. Now the Chiefs are going to deal with a more conventional New England offense as it is led by Brian Hoyer, who gets the nod as the starter over Jarrett Stidham, who failed to seriously challenge Newton for the starting QB job in camp.

If you have followed the NFL over the years, you are familiar with Hoyer, who has sort of hung around for a dozen years, having a good season now and then as a stop-gap. He’s been with seven different teams. He has lost his last ten starts in the NFL. But he has yet to start a game for the Pats. And you may have noticed that Bill Belichick has managed to do pretty well during his tenure when he hasn’t had Tom Brady in the lineup. So they’ll construct a plan to work around whatever Hoyer’s shortcomings are.

Remember that he is in his third different tour of duty with the Patriots. So not only does he know the scheme cold, Belichick trusts him as well.

In the MNF football odds that are posted by our friends at BetAnySports, the Chiefs who opened as a 6.5-point favorite, are now laying double digits:

Kansas City Chiefs -10.5
New England Patriots +10.5

Over 49.5 points -110
Under 49.5 points -110

We imagine the Patriots would like for Hoyer to be a “game manager” and control the ball as much as possible. Can they do that?

Well, they have a nice “committee,” with Sony Michel the head of that committee. Rex Burkhead can be counted on, as well as James White, who missed the last game because of the death of his father, who was a Miami-Dade police captain. New England ran for 250 yards last week against the Raiders.

And look – if there is a place KC is vulnerable, it is on the defensive line against the run. They gave up almost five yards a carry last season, and this year they are springing some leaks, surrendering 4.6 yards a carry.

Here is one of those circumstances where you are almost certain that the motivation of at least one of the teams is to force this game to go under the total. I can not imagine the Patriots not wanting to make killing the clock a major part of their game plan, in order to limit the number of possessions Mahomes will have.

And not only do they have the capability to do it, the Chiefs are fully capable of allowing that. There’s a game that sticks out in my mind, as the Indianapolis Colts came into Arrowhead Stadium with their entire secondary missing, and limited options on offense. And they just ran the ball down KC’s throat, controlling the clock and shocking the Chiefs 19-13. This is what New England wants to do.

Hoyer must do his part to some extent. And perhaps the Pats are better off with a veteran who has run this system before, rather than a youngster who hasn’t done it much (although Stidham is available as the backup).

Belichick didn’t stop Mahomes cold last year, but the Pats were in a position to win, as KC had “only” 358 yards. We’ll see them put up enough of an effort to bring this game in UNDER the total.

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