The game was there to be won in Kansas City, but it wasn’t meant to be for the Cam Newton-less New England Patriots. The defense did exactly what they needed to do, keep the Chiefs skill players in front of them, control the running game, and win enough on 3rd down. Offensively they took the air out of the ball with another impressive rushing performance. The red zone issues, bad calls, and bad QB play from Brian Hoyer ultimately did the Patriots in. The score isn’t indicative of how this game was played.
Brian Hoyer made mistakes you’d expect Jarrett Stidham to make. The sack at the end of the first half is inexcusable for a player of his tenure. Kept the game from presumably being tied at 6 at the half. He missed several wide open receivers and showed why he’s started for 7 different NFL teams. Jarrett Stidham had some moments. The touchdown fade route to Harry was sweet, his 4th down conversion to Edelman, and the run on a 3rd down scramble where he was the victim of a bad spot by the official. If Cam is out for Denver, Stidham has to start.
Damien Harris is similar in style to Sony Michel and runs with thunder. Nice to be healthy and off to a good start. Rex Burkhead ran hard again and got some tough, productive yards. James White never truly got integrated into the passing game as Kansas City knows how dangerous he can be and made sure he was tended to. Lots of catches but little yards. I am impressed with this whole position group and how much pride they take in pass protection.
Julian Edelman did not look right all game long. His usage was limited in the first half and his lack of burst in chasing down Tyrone Mathieu after the pass from Stidham hit him in the hands, to me was an indicator that he isn’t completely healthy. There just wasn’t enough separation for my liking on the play action passes from this unit across the board. Also note, the quarterback play did them no favors.
Izzo was wide open on the first drive and Hoyer cold bird missed him. Pretty good job in the running game. Long gone are the days of Gronk.
No Shaq Mason, no problem running the ball on the Kansas City defense. The young right side of Justin Herron at tackle and Michael Onwenu at guard did a nice job run blocking. There were some issues at times with pass protection, but the quarterback play contributed to some of those issues. Not a huge fan of James Ferentz at center, however the line held up nicely after a personnel shuffle for a 2nd week in a row.
The Deitrich Wise penalty was the negative to a very positive night for him. And don’t complain fans, he put himself in position to have the personal foul called against him in the 4th quarter. Chase Winovich showed up at important times and Adam Butler had some nice pass rush up the middle.
With so many defensive backs playing, this unit has been marginalized especially against an offense like Kansas City. It’s pretty much all Ju’Whaun Bentley with some Shilique Calhoun thrown in. Bentley played well and was the team’s leading tackler. As long as he isn’t lined up out wide guarding a wide receiver or tight end, all good by me.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: A-
When you think about the speed and weaponry that Kansas City puts on the field offensively, this unit showed up well. Man to man, zone, it didn’t matter. Joejuan Williams got beat for the big play of the night as Travis Kelce made a great catch on a beautiful throw from Patrick Mahomes, and then ran away from Williams. Mahomes had 2 touchdown ‘passes’ on designed runs/shovels, not exactly torching the secondary.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
Jake Bailey was boomin em’ to the tune of over 50 yards per punt and all 3 landed inside the 20-yard line. Gunnar Olszewski showed savvy on his one punt return when KC outkicked their coverage and had sliced upfield for 12 yards. Folk did his job. No complaints here.
3 THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Jarrett Stidham to start vs Denver as I just can’t trust that Cam Newton will be able to practice.
- Justin Herron to get more playing time on the offensive line.
- For Deitrich Wise to keep flashing on your screen making plays.