Morning sports update: Bill Belichick said playing the Chiefs is ‘pretty close’ to a divisional matchup

"I think this is a game where both teams know each other pretty well."

Bill Belichick Raiders
Bill Belichick during the Patriots-Raiders game in Week 3 of the 2020 season. –Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Tonight, the Connecticut Sun face the Las Vegas Aces in Game 5 of the WNBA semifinal at 7:30 p.m. The series is tied 2-2.

Elsewhere, the Patriots now prepare for a major early-season game with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. Kansas City enters the matchup following last night’s convincing 34-20 win over the Ravens.

And the Revolution look towards a Saturday game in Nashville at 7:30 p.m., as New England will aim to make it three wins in a row.

In other national news, three Titans players have tested positive for COVID-19. The Titans and Vikings have suspended in-person activities:


Bill Belichick on the Chiefs: The Patriots and Chiefs have grown fairly familiar with each other since 2017.

In that span, the two teams have played five times in four seasons, including a memorable AFC Championship game in January of 2019 that the Patriots won in overtime, 37-31.

In his Monday press conference, Belichick discussed the challenge of another game against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

“I think this is a game where both teams know each other pretty well,” Belichick explained to WBZ’s Michael Hurley. “We’ve played each other multiple times here in the last few years. Even though every game is different and there are different players, there’s still a lot of the same players and a lot of the same coaches and the same schemes that will continue to present themselves.

“How much they show up or don’t show up, that’s another thing,” Belichick added. “I mean, both teams have an element of game-planning to them, so we’ll see how much things actually match up the way they have in the past. But, in terms of familiarity with teams, I think this is one of these games where it’s not quite a division game, but it’s pretty close.”


Trivia: In the first meeting of Belichick and Andy Reid as head coaches, the Patriots defeated the Eagles 31-10 in Week 2 of the 2003 season. What Patriots tight end caught two touchdown passes that day?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was a 1995 second-round pick by the Seahawks.

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The Patriots’ postgame locker room scene:

Doc Rivers announced he has stepped down as head coach of the Clippers: Clippers owner Steve Ballmer described it as a “mutual decision.”

On this day: In 1968, Carl Yastrzemski won the American League batting title. This, while an impressive achievement, was not particularly notable except for the fact that the Red Sox outfielder’s league leading average was just .301.

The 1968 season was known as the “Year of the Pitcher,” given their collective dominance. Major League Baseball’s ERA that season was just 2.98. The league’s batting average was .237.

Given that, Yastrzemski’s mere ability to cross the .300 threshold made him a league leader (he was the only player in the American League to do so that season). Befitting the difficulty of hitting that year, Yastrzemski — who had won the triple crown a year earlier — clinched his batting title by going a dismal 0-5 in a season finale loss to the Yankees.

After 1968, baseball lowered the pitcher’s mound to 10 inches (it had previously been allowed to go as high as 15 inches). The strike zone was also reduced, and the balance began to swing back in favor of the hitter.

Daily highlight: Offensive tackle Eric Fisher caught a decisive touchdown for the Chiefs in the Monday Night Football win over the Ravens.


Trivia answer: Christian Fauria

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