One could easily make the case that the Patriots don’t have a “gimme” game the rest of the season. In fact, when combining the 2013 and 2014 records (so far) of their opponents the rest of the way, those teams have gone 117-88-1.
One or two AFC East opponents are sure to drop off at some point, but those divisional games are never true cupcakes anyway. With the league wanting more intra-division games at the backend of the schedule, the Pats will actually finish the 2014 regular season with three straight AFC East games (vs. Miami, at NY Jets, vs. Buffalo).
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Bill Belichick has often stated that in an ideal world he would love to play each and every game at 1 p.m. on a Sunday. So expect B.B. to be grumpy – or more grumpy than usual – over the next few weeks. The Patriots face back-to-back night games these next two weeks, tackling the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium next Monday (8:30 p.m., ESPN) and the currently undefeated Bengals at Gillette on Sunday Night Football Oct. 5 (8:30 p.m., NBC).
While the Chiefs initially looked as though they were going to take a giant step back in 2014 after making the playoffs with an 11-5 record last year, they have already done something the 2014 Pats could not do by going in to Miami Gardens, Florida and beating the Dolphins.
Kansas City used 132 yards rushing from Knile Davis to thump the Dolphins, 34-15. It’s expected that star back Jamaal Charles will return to the Chiefs lineup next week against the Pats after he sat out Sunday’s win with a high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 2. That two-headed monster of a backfield could give the Pats fits considering what happened in Week 1 in Miami when Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller combined for 193 yards rushing. But to be fair, the Patriots defense has allowed an average of just 60.5 yards rushing since Week 1.
After the roadie at Kansas City, the Patriots will finally get to spend a considerable amount of time at home in Foxboro. Starting with the Cincy game in Week 5, the Pats will play four of their next five games at Gillette, which includes a rare stretch where they will play three straight home games (vs. Jets Oct. 16, vs. Bears Oct. 26, vs. Broncos Nov. 2). They have their bye week after the Denver game.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS