New England Patriots must contain Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill in week 1

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25: Tyreek Hill /

The Kansas City Chiefs offense is basically run through two players, and the New England Patriots will need to contain them both if they want to dominate.

We all know that the New England Patriots have the ability to take away an opponent’s top threat and to bear down on the #2 and #3 options. On Thursday night, they’ll have to contend with only two real threats from Kansas City.

Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are, essentially, the entire Chiefs offense. KC is depending on a rookie running back in Kareem Hunt, and QB Alex Smith is nothing more than a game manager. If the Patriots can contain both Kelce and Hill, this is going to be a cake walk.

It won’t be easy to stop Hill and Kelce, but if any team can on an opening night it’s the New England Patriots. Stephon Gilmore came over to Foxboro this offseason from Buffalo, and he’ll help to form a tremendous duo with fellow corner Malcolm Butler. Between the two of them, they should be able to contain Tyreek Hill all night, even with his blazing speed. The linebackers will also need to help in the Hill department, as the Chiefs will run jet sweeps or line Hill up in the backfield to get him the ball. The edge players for New England will have to contain, and not let Tyreek Hill get outside towards the sideline.

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When it comes to Travis Kelce, there’s no denying that he’s one of the top tight ends in the NFL behind Rob Gronkowski. I’m sure Kelce will have his fair share of catches Thursday night, and maybe even a touchdown, but the Patriots defense has to prevent the big play. I can picture Eric Rowe playing a lot on Kelce, with a ton of safety help over the top, or the bigger body help of an outside linebacker. New England has proven they can slow down and eliminate Kelce in the past.

New England has proven they can slow down and eliminate Kelce in the past. In the 2015 playoffs, he had just 23 yards receiving. The Chiefs couldn’t keep up with the Patriots, and it’ll be the same story this time around if Kelce is held to under 50 yards receiving.

Next: 5 things to watch for in Patriots opener

The NFL’s opening game will kick off at 8:30 PM on Thursday night, but fans should tune in at 8 Pm for the Super Bowl LI banner unveiling at Gillette Stadium. Maren Morris will then sing the National Anthem before Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Devin McCourty, and company go to work.