The Kansas City Chiefs entered their Monday Night Football game versus New England needing a win in a desperate way. Short-handed due to numerous injuries across the roster, and one of the stingiest schedules league-wide, head coach Andy Reid knew he needed a definitive win to give life to a team that started 2014 in neutral. Kansas City could not afford to fall to 1-3, as there’s only a 14.5% chance that 1-3 teams will make the playoffs (Since the merger).
With Kansas City so thoroughly beating the Patriots it brings up a lot of question to what REALLY happened against New England. This means it’s time to put this game under the microscope to understand what went into the 41-14 win.
- Out of KC’s first 20 plays on offense, 6 were for 10+ yards. The offense started the game taking chunk plays from the Patriots with a cool, calm, and collected reserve.
- RB Knile Davis has a championship mentality and will reach his potential, if it’s up to him. Davis had an early 2nd quarter scamper for 48 yards, only to be pushed out of bounds at New England’s 38. He didn’t celebrate his explosively long run, he was visibly frustrated with himself for not staying in bounds to score a touchdown. Championship mentality.
- On the final drive of the first half, as Kansas City looked to add to their 14-0 lead, QB Alex Smith threw one of his best passes in red and gold- a beautiful touch pass to WR Dwayne Bowe that showcased great anticipation. There was not much room for error and Smith delivered.
- I really liked the idea of Andy Reid’s plan at the end of the 1st half: Use up all of the clock so that a Hall of Famer nicknamed “The Comeback Kid” doesn’t get a chance to gain momentum. I did not like Reid’s execution of the plan. Reid has been known to drop the ball in the clock-management category before and nearly did it again Monday night, if not for a penalty in the Chief’s favor. It’s time to accept your weakness, Andy. Hire someone to stand on the sidelines and do ONLY that. In an era with much more far-fetched NFL jobs or practices, it is time to turn your weakness into a strength.
- On the flip side, Andy Reid called a spectacular game. He kept the Patriots on their toes, spreading the ball out to 6 different receivers on the night. New England rarely knew what Kansas City was going to do and when they did Reid had all the bases covered.
- TE Travis Kelce only played in 35 snaps for the Chiefs yet managed to lead the team in receptions and receiving yards with 8 for 93 yards, and a touchdown. Kelce forced 4 missed tackles as well. The young player continues to make strides every week while capitalizing on every given opportunity. If he stays healthy he will be an offensive mainstay in Kansas City for a long time to come.
- The Chief offense had 0 turnovers and manage 6.7 yards per offensive play. Alex Smith had a decent pocket or better for most of the night, only being sacked twice compared to last week’s 5 sacks.
- RB’s Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis combined for 34 carries combined, as well as 199 rushing yards.
- S Husain Abdullah. Wow. Abdullah had a great game for the red and gold, only allowing 39 yards in his direction and recording a pick-six. After Husain’s score it iced the game and stomped any hope for a New England comeback.
- CB Sean Smith also had an interception on Monday Night Football, hauling in a miscommunicated Tom Brady pass with no Patriot’s near. Smith’s excellent play was part of the reason Kansas City never let New England have the lead. Not once.
- This defense only allowed QB Tom Brady 2.15 seconds in the pocket on average.
- The Chief’s starting secondary played every single snap in the contest.
- 1st round pick OLB Dee Ford only saw 4 snaps in the game.
- On the play where the Patriots scored their first points of the game CB Marcus Cooper had bad coverage against WR Brandon LaFell AND Cooper missed the tackle. Cooper was Jekyll and Hyde this game, making both really good and really bad plays.
- After starting the first 3 games of 2014 without a defensive turnover, Kansas City’s defense made up for lost time by recording 3 takeaways. An interception by Sean Smith and Husain Abdullah each and a forced fumble on a strip-sack by OLB Tamba Hali.
- Kansas City’s defense is currently 8th in points allowed and 11th in yards allowed.
- Tamba Hali recorded a sack to add to his forced fumble and fellow OLB Justin Houston chipped in 2 sacks also.
Special Teams Run-Down:
- Rookie CB Phillip Gaines deserves first mention for the second week in a row. On one play Gaines made a very heads-up play to help pin the ball inside the 5-yard line.
- Gaines also showed off his blazing 4.3 speed once again, flying downfield and popping Julian Edelman before he could barely even tuck the ball. I look forward to seeing Gaines once he sees more defensive snaps.
- Punter Dustin Colquitt continues to quietly remain one of the most lethal punters in the NFL. He generally puts the team in very good situations defensively.