Ryan L. Fox
In Week 1 of the 2017 season, the Kansas City Chiefs came into Gillette Stadium to take on the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Many thought that the Chiefs would be crushed, nothing more than just a sacrificial lamb to the Patriots. But when the final gun sounded, the Chiefs rolled out of Foxboro with a devastating 42-27 victory over the home team.
Now in Week 6, the two teams met again in Gillette but under different circumstances. The Chiefs at 5-0 and poised to finally ascend into the ‘Elite Teams’ category while the Patriots were at 3-2 and looking to prove their doubters they were still the team to beat. But at the final gun, it was the Patriots who walked away with their heads held up high but clutching their rapidly beating hearts after barely escaping the shootout that everybody anticipated.
The Patriots began the game, receiving the opening kickoff. They began their first possession of the game at their own 25. The offense seemed to be clicking as RB Sony Michel was running with success against the Kansas City defense. The got as far as the Kansas City 40 where on 4th and 3, QB Tom Brady’s pass to WR Josh Gordon went incomplete.
The Chiefs offense got the ball on their own 41 as QB Patrick Maholmes went to work. He drove the offense down all the way to the New England 26. However they could only get as far as the New England 24 as Maholmes overthrew RB Kareem Hunt and then WR Tyreek Hill on two separate plays, both would have been for touchdowns. Chiefs K Harrison Butker then trotted out onto the field to boot a 42 yard field goal, giving the Chiefs the early 3-0 lead.
Looking to answer back the Chiefs score, the Patriots got the ensuing kickoff and started their next possession on their own 25. Again Michel was the driving force of the Patriots offense, making up half of the Patriots’ yardage in their drive (3 carries for 20 yards). However the Chiefs defense held up as the Patriots had to settle for a 48 yard field goal by K Stephen Gostkowski to tie the game at 3-3.
On the next ensuing Chiefs possession on their own 26, Maholmes dropped back and was looking for TE Travis Kelce cutting across the field. However LB Dont’a Hightower picked off the pass and returned the ball all the way down to the Kansas City 4. Michel then bowled his way over for the quick 4 yard touchdown run as Gostkowski’s PAT made it 10-3.
The Chiefs got the ball back as they got as far as the New England 24. Again the drive stalled as Maholmes again overthrew his receiver, missing a big opportunity for a big gain. They had to settle for another Hunter field goal, this time from 43 yards out, as the score was 10-6.
The Patriots got the ball back on their next possession at their own 25 as Brady went to work. Mixing in passing attacks to TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Julian Edelman with big time runs by Michel and fellow RB Kenjon Barner, the Patriots got down to the Kansas City 21 as the 1st quarter came to a close.
The Patriots opened up the second quarter continuing their current drive. After surviving a potential strip sack, Brady got the offense to the Kansas City 17. There, on 3rd and 10, Brady found Edelman deep for the 17 yard touchdown, their first hook-up in the 2018 season. Gostkowski’s PAT afterwards made it 17-6.
The Chiefs were able to drive the ball 74 yards down the field, including getting big plays from Hunt and Kelce. However they stalled yet again, this time at the New England 6. Butker’s chip shot 24 yard field goal made it 17-9 as there was a little under six and a half minutes remaining in the half.
The Patriots began their next possession on their own 25 as they continued to move the ball with ease. They got to the Kansas City Chief 38 where on 2nd and 8, Brady tried to find Gordon deep for what would be a touchdown. However Chiefs CB Steven Nelson pulled Gordon down, drawing a 37 yard defensive pass interference call. The ball was spotted at the Kansas City Chiefs 1 where it took three attempts for the touchdown as Michel bowled over into the end zone. Gostkowski’s PAT made it 24-6.
With less than 2 minutes left in the half and the game getting away from them, Maholmes led the Chiefs offense down the field. But with under 20 seconds left in the half, Maholmes tried to find Kelce in the end zone. However the ball was batted up in the air as Patriots S Duron Harmon came down with it, running around in the end zone to run time off the clock. Brady took the knee as the Patriots went into the half, leading 24-9.
The Chiefs got the ball back to start the 2nd half. Their first possession started at their own 25. It was all Hunt on that drive as he started off with 2 carries for 8 yards. Then on 3rd and 2 from their own 33, Maholmes found Hunt down the sidelines. This time the pass was on the target as Hunt outran the Patriots defenders for a 67 yard touchdown. Butker’s PAT afterwards made it 24-16, putting the Chiefs within striking distance.
After the two teams exchanged field goals to make it 27-19, the Patriots got the ball back at their own 25. The offense was able to get up to their own 36. But on 3rd and 10, Brady was sacked by Chiefs LB Breeland Speaks and ended up fumbling the ball. Chiefs DE Allen Bailey was able to recover the ball at the New England 29.
Once there, it took the Chiefs just 4 plays as Maholmes was able to find WR Tyreek Hill for a 14 yard touchdown pass. Butker’s PAT went through as the score was now 27-26.
After a 39 yard field goal by Gostkowski to make it 30-26 in the 4th quarter, the Chiefs got ready to receive the ensuing kickoff. However Tr. Smith got the ball at his own goal line and proceeded to bring the ball out. He almost outran the entire Patriots kickoff coverage team until he was brought down by S Devin McCourty at the New England 3.
After running two plays, the Chiefs were facing 3rd and goal on the New England 1. Maholmes looked left for Hunt but ended up overthrowing him. However Hill slide in to catch the ball for the touchdown. Butker’s PAT afterwards made it 33-30.
After getting the ball back on their own 25, Brady bombed the Chiefs defense with a strong passing attack. This also included a 42 yard pass to WR Chris Hogan on 3rd and 1 own their own 34 to the Kansas City 24. He then followed that up with another pass to Hogan, this time a 19 yard pass, to Kansas City 5. After a 1 yard run by RB James White to the Kansas City 4 on 2nd and goal, the Patriots were faced with 3rd and goal at the 4. Brady dropped back and was about to be wrapped up and sacked by Speaks. But then Speaks, thinking Brady had thrown the ball and was afraid to get penalized for roughing the passer, let go of Brady. Brady then proceeded to scramble up the middle, diving over for goal line for the touchdown. Gostkowski’s booted the PAT through as the Patriots regained the lead 37-33.
After forcing the Chiefs to punt the ball and getting it back on their 21, Brady again led the offense down the field. He opened up the drive with a 42 yard pass to TE Rob Gronkowski all the way down to the Kansas City 37. However the Patriots could only muster 5 more yards on 3 plays and had to settle for a 50 yard field goal by Gostkowski to make it 40-33 with less than 3:20 left in the game.
But before Patriots fans could celebrate that their team was up by a touchdown late in the 4th quarter, the Chiefs made things even more interesting.
On 1st and 10 from their own 25, Maholmes dropped back and threw the ball to the left hash where Hill was. Hill leaped up to pull the ball down and then proceeded to outrun everybody into the end zone. Butker’s PAT tied the game up at 40-40 but it left way too much time on the clock.
Brady drove the offense down the field one last time, eating up precious clock along the way. The Chiefs could only watch as the Patriots offense got down to the Kansas City 10. Gostkowski trotted onto the field as he calmly booted the game winning 28 yard field goal to give the Patriots the 43-40 victory, capping off a Sunday Night game that not only lived up to the hype but surpassed it as well.
Notable Patriot Statistical Standouts
QB Tom Brady: 24-for-35 for 340 yards and 1 TD for a QB Rating of 109.2, 3 carries for 2 yards, 1 TD, and 1 fumble lost.
RB Sony Michel: 24 carries for 106 yards and 2 TD, 1 kick return for 26 yards, 1 target
RB James White: 6 carries for 39 yards, 5 catches (on 7 targets) for 53 yards
TE Rob Gronkowski: 3 catches (on 4 targets) for 92 yards
WR Julian Edelman: 5 catches (on 7 targets) for 54 yards and 1 TD, 2 punt returns for 20 yards
WR Chris Hogan: 4 catches (on 4 targets) for 78 yards
LB Don’t’a Hightower: 2 tackles (0 solo, 2 assist), 1 INT for 27 yards, 1 pass defended
S Duron Harmon: 3 tackles (3 solo, 0 assist), 1 INT, 1 pass defended
Numbers! Numbers! Numbers!
1 – The number of punts for the entire game between both teams
83– The total number of points combined for both teams
500 – Number of career receptions TE Rob Gronkowski has in his career, the 15th tight end in NFL history to accomplish that milestone.
400 – The total number of rushing yards RB Sony Michel has now after tonight’s game, putting him second among all rookie rushers behind New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (438)
275 – Number of total receiving yards Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill has against the Patriots in two contests (133 in Week 1 last year and 142 in this game)
2,128 – Number of days since a first time starting QB has beaten the Patriots (former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick was the last one back on December 16, 2012 in a 41-34 victory at Gillette Stadium)
109.2 – Tom Brady’s QB rating for the game, the highest this season up to this point
Ugh…Can Anybody Play Defense?
That’s the sentiment that most Patriots fans are feeling after they are feeling after this game.
True, this was a fantastic shoot out that lived up to its hype…in the second half that is.
For the early goings of the game, the Patriots defense was able to hold their own against the high octane Chiefs offense. They were able to limit the Chiefs to a paltry 9 points for the first half but also forced two crucial turnovers. The first was a Dont’a Hightower interception that lead to the Patriots first touchdown in the 1st quarter. Hightower read Maholmes perfectly, anticipating the pass and snagging it with ease. Then there was the Duron Harmon interception at the end of the 1st half, killing the chances of a Chiefs score and squashing any momentum they could have had going into halftime.
Then…the second half happened.
After holding the Chiefs to 9 points in the first half, the defense gave up 31 in the second half. This included 2 scoring plays of 60+ yards (67 yard touchdown pass reception by RB Kareem Hunt on the Chiefs’ opening possession and 75 yard touchdown pass reception by WR Tyreek Hill to tie the game late). The defense could barely get to Maholmes as his jersey was practically clean for the game (0 sacks and practically 0 QB hits & knockdowns in the entire second half), were torched for 352 yards passing, and allowed Hill to score 3 touchdowns.
It’s only because of the play of QB Tom Brady and RB Sony Michel that allowed the Patriots to escape with a win for the second week in a row. If the Patriots want a chance for their 6th Lombardi (aka, ‘One for the Thumb’), the defense better get their act together and be able to get off the field instead of relying on the offense to bail their inept butts out.
After two ‘big’ weeks were he found the end zone, Patterson was just an afterthought in this game. He only had 1 catch (on 1 target) for 13 yards and 1 carry for 3 yards. He did have a 30 yard kickoff return but that was the only highlight for you Patterson fans.
With the emergence of WR Josh Gordon and WR Julian Edelman back into the fold, Patterson is just pretty much…err…scratch that…he is an afterthought when it comes to this Patriots offense.
Fox Fist Bump
RB Sonny Michel, come on down! I feel like a broken record for saying this but this was another strong outing for the rookie running back out of the University of Georgia. He pounded the rock to the tune of 102 yards, had two touchdowns, and was a big factor why the Patriots were able to have so many extended drives throughout the game that kept the Chiefs offense off the field.
The Meatball this week goes to…that jack wagon of a fan who threw beer right into Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill’s face after his 75 yard touchdown reception late in the 4th quarter. You could clearly see the fan cock back his arm and throw his beer right into Hill’s face. It is utterly shocking and embarrassing that a grown man could do such a childish thing. But what do you expect from the inbred hick specimen known as the ‘Masshole’ that wears Patriots jersey. I only hope that security was able to find that jackoff and that the Patriots suspend him from their games for the remainder of the season. Unacceptable, inexcusable, and indefensible.
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