By Traci McCartney // @traciamc
Patriots 43 – Chiefs 40
I had a hard time watching the Patriots’ game on Sunday night. There were several reasons (Cris Collinsworth drives me nuts, for one), but I was on the edge of my seat and my blood was pumping.
I was trying to go back and forth between the Red Sox vs. Houston in ALCS game 2, and the Patriots/Chiefs game.
I can honestly say that no matter how exciting a close game is, I’m getting too old for it! I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
Let me start off by saying that I LOVE watching quarterback Patrick Mahomes play. As I said on twitter, this kid is the REAL DEAL. He seems like a good kid, an effective leader, and some of the plays he makes when you think he’s down? Amazing.
So, it’s no wonder that the Kansas City Chiefs walked into Foxborough undefeated…but they didn’t leave that way. The Patriots won on a last-second field goal to send the Chiefs home with 1 in the loss column.
The Patriots defense held the Chiefs to 3 field goals in the first half. The Chiefs had averaged 35 points a game, so it seemed obvious that this would be a high scoring affair. And this game didn’t disappoint. I had a few thoughts on this game:
- I thought the Patriots defense played better in the first half. The pressure on Mahomes seemed to make a difference. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower intercepted Mahomes in the first quarter and that led to a Patriots touchdown. Pressure on Mahomes contributed to 2 errant throws to tight end Travis Kelce and a pass was knocked down in the end zone by cornerback Stephon Gilmore. On the Chiefs’ last drive of the half, Hightower had a hold of Mahomes’ jersey as he was throwing leading to a safety Duron Harmon interception with 4 seconds left in the half. The Patriots were leading 24-9 at the half.
Superb closing speed by Stephon Gilmore on his third-down PBU in the end zone. The Chiefs drove inside the Patriots’ 25 seven times last night but scored TDs on just two of those trips. pic.twitter.com/LugSjxMegC
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) 15 October 2018
- Neither defense played particularly well overall. The Patriots’ defense wasn’t able to sack Mahomes at all in the game, and each team gave up over 400 yards of offense: the Chiefs had 446 yds and the Patriots had 500. There was only 1 punt in the whole game and it came when the Chiefs punted in the 4th quarter.
- Field position was a big issue. In the first quarter, the Patriots went for it on 4th and 3 on the Kansas City 40 and the pass to wide receiver Josh Gordon was incomplete, so they turned the ball over on downs. After the Patriots scored a field goal to tie up the game at 3-3, a squib kick on the kick off with the return gave the Chiefs the ball at the KC 45 yd line. In the 3rd quarter, special teams allowed a 33 yd return and in the 4th quarter, a 97 yd return by wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Patriots’ 3 yd line. That put the Chiefs ahead, but it was the only lead they had during the game.
- I’m loving the run game! It allows the Patriots to control the clock, and it showed in the time of possession. Imagine if the defense had been able to stop the Chiefs from scoring more than once! The Patriots had the ball 12-plus minutes more than the Chiefs. Rookie running back Sony Michel had 106 of the Patriots’ 173 yds rushing and 2 touchdowns. RB James White averaged 6.5 yds per carry on his 6 rushes of the game for 39 yds.
- Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was perfect on the night. He went 5 for 5 on field goal attempts and drilled all 5 extra points – a good thing because they needed every. Single. Point.
Next week, it’s another young quarterback as the Patriots take on Mitchell Trubisky and the 3-2 Chicago Bears. The Bears are 2-0 at home, while the Patriots are 0-2 on the road. Can the Patriots get their first road win?
Talk Patriots with Traci on Twitter @traciamc