Chiefs Vs. Patriots – The Chiefs will use unusual players against the Patriots on Monday night. Kansas City will lean on a journeyman quarterback, a running back whoâ€™s spent most of his career on special teams and a tight end who has a hard time catching. They have been decimated by injuries this season, particularly on offense, where quarterback Matt Cassel, running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Tony Moeaki have gone down with what are likely to be season-ending injuries.
Tyler Palko will be under center against the Patriots, making his first career start. Heâ€™ll hand off to Jackie Battle, a special teams standout thrust into the role of the feature back. And if the Patriots struggling offensive line gives Palko enough time to throw, his best option off the line of scrimmage is Leonard Pope, who has all of 16 catches for 115 yards this season.
Coach Todd Haley maintains confidence that this hodgepodge collection of backups can keep the defending AFC West champions in contention. The Chiefs (4-5) are in a three-way tie behind the Oakland Raiders (5-4) in a division lacking any true favorite.
“Obviously last weekâ€™s result was disappointing,” Haley said of a 17-10 home loss to Denver. “Weâ€™ve learned from it and weâ€™re continuing to work hard to be a better team, to play better, to be more consistent, and that has to start this Monday against New England.”
Much of the spotlight will be on Palko, who has thrown 13 passes in his NFL career. But heâ€™s only the trigger-man for an offense that hasnâ€™t done much.
Kansas City ranks 27th in the league in total offense, and Cassel had the passing offense ranked 28th before he went down with an injury to his throwing hand against the Broncos. Cassel had surgery late Monday and is likely out for the season.
The Chief’s rushing offense, the leagueâ€™s best a year ago, has struggled without the game-breaking Charles in the backfield. Kansas City has three rushing touchdowns, better only than the Browns.