The New England Patriots have a knack for taking away their opposition’s most impactful player, a trend that certainly continued in the 2018 AFC Championship Game.
The Patriots were tasked with slowing down one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses in the Kansas City Chiefs. While Patrick Mahomes and Co. still managed to hang 31 points, their most explosive offensive player was a total non-factor.
Tyreek Hill was limited to just one catch in his team’s overtime loss at Arrowhead Stadium. Despite featuring All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots stuck third-year CB Jonathan Jones on Hill for the bulk of the contest. And while it’s rare for Hill to post such little production, Jones isn’t at all surprised that he and his teammates were able to subdue the speedster.
Jones’ remarks aren’t terribly surprising, as the Patriots’ game plan like few other teams in the league. They’re clearly not afraid to try new strategies either, as Jones responded to his performance vs. the Chiefs by playing an entirely new position in Super Bowl LIII, which saw New England limit the high-powered Los Angeles Rams to just three points.
So while the Patriots’ defense dealt with its fair share of struggles over the course of the season, it’s clear the unit never lost its confidence.
Thumbnail photo via Mark Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports