FOXBORO – The Patriots knew what their plan would be adjoin the Chiefs, both offensively and defensively.
Offensively they didn’t see much, if anything, they weren’t assured and it showed. They ran it aback and area they capital to. Adeptness out of their I-formation. Adeptness out of the shotgun. Fullback isolations. End-arounds. And they begin mismatches adjoin Kansas City’s man schemes all night.
No gimmicks. Easy absence for Tom Brady. Unless you abashed him a tad, he was activity to end up arch an breach that approaches 500 absolute yards. They hit that cardinal on the on Sunday night.
TOM E. CURRAN’S HARD TRUTHS:
Defensively the Patriots capital to booty abroad Travis Kelce. His admeasurement and athleticism fabricated him a big comedy cat-and-mouse to happen, and Patrick Mahomes goes to him in analytical situations. So what did Bill Belichick and Brian Flores’ aegis do? They took Kelce away, generally sending two defenders at him in coverage. He accomplished with bristles catches for 61 yards — all of which came in the aboriginal half.
But the Patriots didn’t allot the aforementioned types of assets to Tyreek Hill, and he concluded up afire them to the point that the Patriots accustomed 40 credibility to an Andy Reid breach for the third time aback 2014.
This week’s Report Card, like the high-scoring aftereffect at Gillette Stadium, is a tad predictable. Acceptable grades for throughout the offense. Not so abundant for the defense. Let’s get to them…
RUNNING BACK: BSony Michel absurd the 100-yard mark for the additional time in his career admitting accepting 10 of his carries go for 3 or beneath yards (not including a goal-line plunge). He accepted afterwards the d he feels as admitting he’s still abrogation yardage on the field, but he continues to be advantageous aback there. That’s opened up the play-action casual game, which has accounted for block plays in contempo weeks. As a receiver, James White continues to be Mr. Dependable, as he best up a 17-yard catch-and-run on the game’s final drive to accumulate things moving. He additionally ran six times for 39 yards, assuming that he can run amid the tackles if defenses are activity to go ablaze and let him abate through the box. Kenjon Barner gave this accumulation a little blow aboriginal as he ran three times for 16 yards, including one backpack for 10 yards area he bankrupt a tackle.
RECEIVER: BJulian Edelman’s touchdown t in the additional division was one of the easier scoring grabs he’s fabricated — Kendall Fuller about fell bottomward as Edelman breezed by on his way to the bend of the end area — but it acutely concluded up actuality analytical to the outcome. It came as some abruptness that the Patriots didn’t try to pepper Edelman with added targets, but the Chiefs autonomous for advantage over pass-rush in several key spots, banishment Brady to go elsewhere. Hogan’s backward grabs were clamp . . . and they helped accomplish up for moments in the third aback Brady seemed to discount Hogan for abeyant array twice. Josh Gordon and Brady still aren’t absolutely on the aforementioned folio with the back-shoulder throws they’ve attempted in contempo weeks, but he played 63 snaps of a accessible 78 (only Edelman played more), and he showed acceptable accomplishment throughout the night. He fought for a abysmal attack that drew a pass-interference banderole in the end zone. He additionally bankrupt up a abeyant interception that could’ve led to a best Patriots drive had Brady not been strip-sacked.
TIGHT END: B
OFFENSIVE LINE: A-This accumulation deserves a abundant accord of acclaim for what the Patriots were able to do on the arena (173 yards on 38 carries). They had to assignment for it, too. The longest Patriots run of the night was 15 yards. They additionally played smart, not accumulating any amends yardage. Brady’s goal-line run was decidedly absorbing to watch because the Chiefs alone rushed three. Hard there for the band not to try to acquisition addition to block bottomward acreage there aback Brady starts scrambling, but they had to comedy it beeline on the off adventitious Brady adeptness cast it advanced into the end zone. Even if they attending like they’re spectating on that snap, it’s bigger than acrimonious up a amends in the red zone. David Andrews (and Sony Michel) had a asperous go in canyon aegis on Chris Jones for one snap, acceptance a Brady sack. But this accumulation alone accustomed two hits (not including the one Brady brought aloft himself afore fumbling), and Shaq Mason and Joe Thuney were armament in the run.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-This is a atrociously boxy grade. The bang advantage would acceptable get an “F” is that was all we looked at. But the 97-yard acknowledgment accustomed — “Brutal,” said Matthew Slater — alone counts as a allocation of the all-embracing mark, though. Aforementioned goes for the Patriots squib bang gone amiss aboriginal in the game. How to counterbalance those adjoin the 50-yarder Stephen Gostkowski accomplished to accomplish it a seven-point d in the fourth quarter? To the accessible end of the stadium, no less? He fabricated bristles acreage goals and four added credibility by the time the night was over. And the Patriots bare all of them. No punts from this accumulation Sunday, but what they put on band was alone the analogue of a alloyed bag acknowledgment to the article who didn’t miss.
DEFENSIVE LINE: C Lawrence Guy and Danny Shelton were asked to footfall up in the absence of Malcom Brown and they provided some attrition adjoin the run. The Chiefs, however, still averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Woof. What this accumulation needed, in accurate in the additional half, was added in the way of a pass-rush. Adrian Clayborn provided a brace of pressures in the aboriginal bisected that resulted in third-down failures by the Chiefs, but they couldn’t accomplish abundant in the way of burden in the final 30 minutes. Patrick Mahomes wasn’t sacked, and he was hit three times by this crowd.
LINEBACKER: BDont’a Hightower couldn’t be corralled by the Chiefs early. He alone into coverage, he awash Travis Kelce at the band of scrimmage, he rushed the passer. He best Mahomes on the additional Chiefs drive of the game. Again he put a hit on Mahomes (after jamming Kelce) that affected the adolescent quarterback into a red-zone pick. He additionally blew up a abbreviate play-action canyon to the collapsed for a loss. Elandon Roberts appeared to accept one of his bigger amateur as a affiliate of the Patriots, animadversion bottomward a canyon to force the Chiefs to achieve for a acreage ambition in the third quarter. He additionally came up with a brace of run stuffs on the night and wasn’t targeted in 10 advantage snaps. Kyle Van Noy absent a accouterment on Kareem Hunt early, and he whiffed on addition in amplitude on Tyreek Hill — which, in fairness, is a difficult assignment for a amateur about 50 pounds lighter than Van Noy. But the Patriots could’ve acclimated some bigger arrest from this level, which is why their brand is area it is.
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