The Patriots and Chiefs played the game of the year Sunday night in Foxboro. Here are my quick takeaways from the game:
– Horrible execution on the first drive, first, Trent Brown misses a block on a sweep, then Gronk drops a pass on 3rd down. Gotta execute if you want to beat the Chiefs.
– Patriots got lucky on Chiefs first drive, Mahomes with a few bad throws to open guys that would’ve both been TDs.
– Trent Brown is not good in space. The missed block on the first drive has happened over and over so far this year. He’s solid in line, but he doesn’t seem to be able to block anyone who’s on the move.
– Great disguise by Hightower on the pick, but Mahomes needs to see him drop into the zone. Good recovery by Hightower on that play, because he was not good in man coverage on the first drive
– It looks like the Patriots want to use Barner like Burkhead. If he can run consistently, and he can catch out of the backfield, it makes them not dangerous and unpredictable when he’s on the field.
– It’s a personal pet peeve of mine, but Andy Reid cost his team 30 seconds at the end of the first half by not calling timeout before the 2 minute warning.
– Another great defensive play by the Patriots on the interception to end the first half. Definitely a suspect throw by Mahomes, but a solid play by Harmon.
– What a terrible play Jason McCourty on Hunt’s long TD catch. No reason to slow down, he was looking for the pick instead of staying with his man. Lost on the play, what a throw by Mahomes on the run.
– Brady misses Gordon in the end zone on the next drive, and it’s my opinion that it’s on Gordon. Brady ended up throwing behind him, but Gordon has to stop and sit in the open zone. Instead, he ran into coverage.
– Van Noy missed multiple guy in the open field. First Hunt, then Hill, both on 3rd down. The Hill play was reviewed and overturned, but still, the Chiefs don’t go for it if he makes that play, and the drive ended in a FG
– A surprisingly horrible decision by Brady on the strip sack. I understand no one was open, but you need to either throw it away or eat it and punt.
– Terrible defensive play design to leave Devin McCourty 1 on 1 against Tyreek Hill. He loses that matchup 10 times out of 10. They liked it so much, they decided to do it again and give the Chiefs another TD.
– A great play by Brady to score the TD, but the defender let up, have to imagine it’s because of the way they’re enforcing penalties around the QB. This was later confirmed by him in the locker room after the game.
– The big plays killed them down the stretch. Hill is so incredibly fast that playing a normal defense against him just doesn’t work if he goes deep. If they see the Chiefs again in the playoffs, they’re going to have to figure out something else.
– Interesting that Gronk and Hogan, who were quiet for most of the night, both had multiple big plays in the 4th quarter with the game on the line. Brady still trusts his guys.
– Speaking of Gronk, the throw to him after the horrible non-call on the fair catch call by Edelman was awesome. The defender had no chance of bringing him down, but as he was stiff-armed to the ground, at least he could take solace in the fact that he held Gronk up enough so he couldn’t score. Also, the throw on the last drive to him was perfect, and the route and catch were just as good. When Brady and Gronk are clicking, there’s not much you can do about it.
– Patrick Mahomes impressed me last night. He did not play well in the first half and made some critical errors, but he came out firing in the second half. He is fun to watch.
– Yes, the Chiefs defense stinks, but Sony Michel ran hard and was really tough to take down last night. This kid might be something special. Imagine, some people thought he would be a bust.
– The last Tyreek Hill touchdown was a joke. The ball was in the air for like 5 seconds, and there was still no one around Hill when he caught it. With his speed, if he has an inch, you’re not catching him. He, however, forgot what Ricky Proehl taught everyone back in 2001, you can’t score too early on the Patriots.
– Tyreek Hill is fast. Like really fast. Have I already mentioned this? He’s stupid fast, and it’s not track speed either, it’s football speed. The kid is a weapon.
– It may not have been a super high pressure kick, but the FG by Ghost to win the game was pretty damn good. He was perfect for the day, including a 50 yarder to bring the lead back to 7 before the 1 play drive to Hill. Ghost was on tonight, and let’s hope it stays that way. He’s one guy that is heavily criticized, and I think it’s unfair. The worst thing about him is the guy he replaced, you’re never going to fill his shoes. But that’s not his fault, he’s one of the most accurate kickers of all time, and he deserves some due.
– A few interesting notes from the game: The Patriots are the first team to commit no penalties and have no punts in an NFL game. The Patriots have scored 34 points in the last 2 minutes of the first half this year, best in the NFL. Also, last night was the first time an NFL game has ever ended 43-40.
– Next week, the Pats go to Chicago to face a reeling Bears team. Let’s not forget they have some weapons that can hurt you on offense, and their defense was playing at an elite level a few weeks ago. I know they got torched by Brock Osweiler, but they’re better than that, and the Patriots will most likely get their best next week.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @wtplane
Photo credit :Boston Globe