It’s not the most exciting Monday Night Football game to air on national television during the 2011 season, but at least it was supposed to be. Chiefs’ starting quarterback and former Patriots tutelage Matt Cassel was looking forward to this game all season long but he went down with what seems to be a season ending hand injury against the Denver Broncos in week 10. Chiefs’ backup quarterback Tyler Palko will get the start behind center in week 11.
Tyler Palko has only thrown 13 NFL passes since joining the league in 2007. Scouting reports suggest that Palko is a tough player who has good enough arm strength to get the ball down the field but needs to work on his accuracy and decision making on third downs. Strange but true, three days ago Coach Todd Haley expressed confidence in Chiefs backup quarterback Ricky Stanzi and not Tyler Palko saying, “We’re all very encouraged with Ricky. He’s the type of guy you want playing at quarterback.” It may be a bit of a quarterback carousel this Monday night so expect Tyler to be on a short leash if he doesn’t perform well early.
There is no denying the fact that injuries have slowed down the Chiefs on both sides of the ball this season and it is one of the main reasons why they are averaging 15.5 points a game while letting up an average of 24.2 points a game to their opponents. To make matters worse the Chiefs are minus one in turnover differentials this season (19th) while the Patriots are plus three (9th overall) heading into this one. Coach Belichick will most certainly NOT overlook the Chiefs this week at home but I expect the Patriots to be a little lenient against their former defensive coordinator Romeo Crenell and GM Scott Pioli who have helped the Patriots build a championship franchise with the team in recent past. I don’t see the Patriots upping the score on the Chiefs but then again the Patriots can’t prevent the Chiefs from shooting themselves in the foot. I think their will be plenty of opportunity for the Patriots to strut their stuff and spread the ball around to make every Patriot happy in week 11. I see the Patriots beating the Chiefs in a lopsided battle, 38-13.