We knew the Patriots would probably win this one but Kansas City didn't really put up a fight. 34-3? If you want to call it a bright spot, Tyler Palko beat Tom Brady in the first quarter. However, the following three quarters showed why Bill Belichick's teams win.
One thing we've learned about Belichick is he is a game diagnostician. Brady is the eyes and ears and Belichick trusts him. Even when you have a future hall of famer making you look like a rank amateur, you still have problems. At least show up and make it a fight.
Todd Haley is totally overmatched and has been for most of the year. I'll give Romeo Crennel some props at being able to slow down the New England offense in the first quarter but there was precious little slowing down the remainder of the game.
Once Brady hit the gas, there was no recovery. Oh yeah, the Chiefs put up some yards on statistically the worst defense in the NFL but scoring defense? 34-3 New England.
New England won at the point of attack and they dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Palko was sacked four times although Wallace Gilberry, Amon Gordon and Tamba Hali all got to Brady once each.
Palko was also picked three times. I get the whole "not having enough time with the first team" but as I've said before, at some point you figure it out. I'll give Palko the fact that he often looked quite poised while standing in the pocket, you can tell there wasn't enough trust that the line would hold long enough for him to do something.
The special teams did well in the first half but they disappeared completely by the third quarter and let Julian Edelman go on a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown.
This game was like watching a large ship slowing sinking under the surface of a blustery ocean. One thing is for sure, this is not the last time we see a lopsided Chiefs loss.
Another problem this team has is Leonard Pope. He is not any kind of answer to anything. He is penalty prone and is starting to have rocks for hands. This will be an ongoing problem and Jake O'Connell may not be a realistic back up.
The only sign of consistent light I see on defense is Derrick Johnson. He is becoming a beast on blitzes and he is stuffing holes on runs. This kid could be the cornerstone of Chiefs defenses for the next few years.
The offensive line was it's typical self. Allowing fairly easy access into the backfield and making Branden Albert look like a statue at times. I saw Big Brian Waters shaking his head several times on the sidelines.
I have to say that game planning was a little better against the Patriots than it has been the last few weeks. For awhile, I actually thought there could be an upset in the making.
What I chose to ignore, initially, was how good Belichick is at figuring out defenses. Brady takes his time in getting an idea of what's next but having practiced against Crennel defenses for 4 years, he figured it out and the result was predictable.
What was also predictable was Haley going into a rage on the sidelines. Occasionally you need to motivate people and I get that, but when you drill them on national TV, I'm pretty sure you end up looking somewhat bad.
Professional sports is not the arena for the faint of heart but choosing to make a public display of it doesn't necessarily help the team. What helps the team is having a good plan and executing it. That's what the Patriots do and you don't typically see Bill Belichick ranting to his team on the sidelines.
All of this falls on Scott Pioli. He can choose to have the team's face and voice be a Todd Haley or he can choose to hire a head coach who is confident in his plan and has the right individuals available to execute it.
There in lies the problem. My belief is that when Pioli finds the right formula, he will make the deal that will make this team. Until then, let's see what happens when the Steelers visit Arrowhead. Hopefully the Chiefs won't get wrapped up in a terrible towel.
Patriots Demonstrate "The Way"
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