Patriots vs Chiefs Recap: The Patriots Are Not Dead

The Patriots are set to defend their title and win their sixth Super Bowl

You’re going to be hearing a lot of crap like that this week. But, guess what, they were wrong then and they are going to be wrong now. Yes, the Patriots played like a bucket of crap last night, but they fixed their problems before and they will do it again. We have the best quarterback of all time as well as the best coach. They will make the changes. A lot of people, including myself got caught up in the 19-0 talk and now we can put it to rest only one game in and that’s probably a good thing. I always thought this team was 19-0 on paper, but I’ve always said I thought they would be 13-3 because of weird games like this and I still believe that. I’m sure the players got caught up in the talk as well, but we can finally put that to rest and the Pats can refocus and get better. This team clearly needed a wake up call.

The Patriots came out and completely overlooked a very good Chiefs team. A team that has had the best regular season record combined since week 7 of the 2015 season. They’re legit and they proved it. The Patriots looked like exactly how we expected them to on their first drive, it was incredibly easy. The Chiefs then fumbled on their first play and we finally go to see where the weaknesses of the Patriots lie. Short yardage situations and the red zone were a problem all night, but we’ll get into that later. The issues of the defense were evident on the Chiefs first scoring drive and were only magnified as the game went on.

Offense

The Patriots offense put 27 points on the board last night against a very good Chiefs defense. The offense wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either. Especially considering there was no Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell and Amendola, who may have suffered a concussion.

Poor Route Running

One of the biggest complaints I had last night was the route running. I felt that other than Brandin Cooks, guys were not finishing their routes, Brady got a lot of blame for last night, but I don’t think this game is on him. Brady was 16 for 36 passing. Some throws were bad, but there were a bunch of dropped balls and guys not running. Brady will always throw it to where the receiver will be and not where he is. An overthrow is rarely Brady’s fault and last night was no different. If guys run hard they would have caught it. On the other hand, there was a lot of pushing and grabbing from the Chiefs defense on the Pats receivers, especially on Cooks and Gronk.

4th And 1

I thought the red zone offense last night was horrendous. Yes, Gillislee had 3 touchdowns, but he is no Lagarrette Blount. Nothing showed that more clearly than this play.

First off, he didn’t follow Devlin and the power was nothing close to Blount. Blount gets that first down almost every time and Gilliselee was 0-2 last night on fourth and short. Josh McDaniels learned the hard way last night it is going to be hard to replace Blount in those situations. Expect more passes in those situations from now on, or QB sneeks.

Josh McDaniels

Speaking of McDaniels, I thought he did a horrible job managing the game last night. I thought there were way too many runs in short yardage situations when the Chiefs had the box stacked. You would have thought after the second failed attempt, the Patriots would have started passing in short yardage situations.

McDaniels was either in favor of the run or the deep ball. The deep ball has been missing from the Pats offense in previous seasons and I swear I saw them try and go long more last night than they did all last season. Yes, the deep plays are exciting, but you need to get the short throws and the check downs working first, something the Patriots have made a killing off of. Once you get the short passes going, it will open up the deep ball. The Patriots continually tried to force it deep and the Chiefs were ready for it. I expect way better play calling from McDaniels next week.

Defense

The defense was disgusting last night. Like, all time worst defense bad. I honestly don’t put any blame on Matt Patricia here. The defense was made up of guys that came in here on Sunday and there are only so much that a coach can do in so little time. Hightower going down was also a huge blow and was when the defense completely fell off the rails. The Pats had the lead at the time and after that they couldn’t stop the Chiefs even if they had a machine gun. Gilmore got absolutely burned by Tyreeke Hill and it was hard to tell if it was his fault or if there was supposed to be a safety behind him in zone coverage. Either way, they need to be better.

It has been reported this morning that Hightower has a sprained MCL after being fallen on by a Chiefs lineman. The injury is not serious and he could be able to play in Week 2.

Pass Rush

A huge dissapointment last night was the pass rush. They had their fair share of sacks, but that came after the secondary locked down for about 8 seconds, or because Alex Smith fell and sacked himself. They made Alex Smith, a very avereage QB, look like an MVP. He had way too much time and you are not going to stop a lot of teams with weopons like that if you can’t put pressure on the QB.

Rob Ninkovich retired in part because of the addition of Kony Ealy, but with him cut and a few others injured, there is a gaping hole in there at DE and someone needs to fill it. I think that someone is Ninkovich. Scott Zolak said on 98.5 The Sports Hub yesterday that Nink looked very very good and he thought he was in game shape. After last night, you have to think Belichick is putting in a phone call to Nink. Don’t be surprised if Ninkovivh is starting in Week 2 for the Patriots.

Chiefs Formations

I have to give the Chiefs a lot of credit. They came out in some crazy formations with guys lining up all over the place. Kelce and Hill were frequently in the backfield. With the Patriots makeshift defense last night, it caused PROBLEMS. There is not secret the Chiefs have weapons and they did a great job of utilizing them last night.

The Chiefs and their fans can enjoy this, but don’t act like you want to come back here in January. That game will not have the same outcome I guarantee you that.

Attitude and Competitiveness

Brady talked a lot about the team’s attitude and competitiveness and how it needs to be way better. There are a lot of new guys here playing important roles. You get the feeling the new guys might think that now they are here in New England, wins are given not earned. They learned last night that is just not the case. And if they continue with having a poor attitude and competitiveness then they will be cut, if they don’t get cut this week already. This team came out very cocky and even the coaches did too, getting greedy on a 4th and 1 on their second possession. Yes, 7 points would have made it 14-0 and probably ended the game there (for what it’s worth I still think it was a catch), but you need to at least make it 10-0. They lacked focus and fire and were completely caught off guard, something that is not allowed to happen here in New England.

The Bottom Line

Now, it’s only 1 game. The media is going to say this team is dead, but half of the league is going to be 0-1 after this week. One loss does not define a team. Yes, the Pats have a TON of work to do, but they are in no way dead. If you need further proof, the Patriots lost in Week 1 in 2001, 2003 and 2014. Each of those seasons they went on to win the Super Bowl. So, let’s all take a step back and look at this game for what it was. It was a wake up call for this team and highlighted a lot of things that need to be worked. It is way better to have a loss like this now than it is in Week 12.

I’ve always liked to think of the first four games of the season as the Patriots pre season and this game shows exactly why. There are so many moving parts. Guys just got on the team on Sunday and have no idea whats going on, but they will figure it out. One of the positives I look at is now the Pats have haters again. They look mortal. People think they are dead. We all know this team plays better when they have people to prove wrong. They didn’t have that coming into this game, now they do. So, before you freak out, just remember its the Pats pre season, they’ll be fine.

We’re on to New Orleans.

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