An exciting matchup between Kansas City and New England was postponed for a day, and brought out surprises. The head to head matchup between Andy Reid and Bill Belichick was another treat to watch. In a up and down night for Patrick Mahomes and the offense, the defense was having fun with their opportunity. Along with that, we will look back at more major highlights from the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. Let’s get it started.
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Rent Was Due
Tyrann Mathieu and the secondary did not take the quarterback change from Cam Newton for granted. Having lost L’Jarius Sneed to a broken collarbone the week before, left a bigger chance for that of Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton. Both answered the bell in their larger role in this contest. Ward’s coverage spacing and knowing his landmarks on the field remains a strength. In addition, Fenton continues to learn with his increased reps.
Mathieu, the Landlord, earns the game ball. His instincts and attention to detail was on display all night. Overall, Mathieu had an answer for everything that the Patriots were trying to throw their way. Kansas City was also generally beat through the air on perfectly placed balls, or quickly timed passes.
The Kansas City offense has had some trouble going up against the Patriots defense before. Utilizing multiple defensive backs, altering concepts and coverages, rather than mostly sticking to one true game plan is a good recipe in this matchup. We saw plenty of blitz attempts from the week before. That did not phase Mahomes at all. However, sitting back in coverage with double teams assessed cause indecisiveness for both the quarterback and weapons like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins.
Those three were able to have respectable nights in the end. It was not all bad, as Hill found the end zone once and a few big plays down the field. Kelce was able to break free for a healthy amount of yards after the catch on one specific play. The shortcomings occurred when Watkins fumbled, threatening to score outside of the red zone. Elsewhere, settling for field goals in the red zone, was a result from good coverage by New England and a slight loss of focus in passing downs.
Sack Nation Represents
Even without Sack Nation CEO Chris Jones, the Chiefs pass rush was humming last night. In fact, this has been a gradual process from week to week. Frank Clark was noticeably providing consistent pressure. His sack right before halftime was one of the most important plays of the game. With the Patriots out of timeouts, quarterback Brian Hoyer took too long and held on to the football. Clark essentially got a second wind on his pass rush attempt, and forced Hoyer to retreat backwards before bringing him down. New England ran out of time and didn’t score, preserving the Kansas City lead and the Patriots got the ball first in the second half.
A similar play happened later on, with the Patriots deep in Chiefs territory. Once again, the prideful defense came through with their backs against the wall. Taco Charlton got his hand on Hoyer’s throwing arm and jarred the ball free. Ben Niemann was there for the fumble recovery, letting the wind out of New England’s sails once more. And it’s not just that the Kansas City pass rush has been making plays. They have consistently provided pressure in base sets, without having to rely on additional blitzers coming from multiple angles.
Following this game, the Chiefs offense will get a chance to reload against the divisional rival Las Vegas Raiders. Quarterback Derek Carr has had Arrowhead Stadium demons throughout his entire career. Can the defense continue to make life difficult for the former Fresno State signal caller? Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday at noon central time.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Kansas City Chiefs versus Las Vegas Raiders game coverage during the week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.