PATRIOTS REPORT CARD VS. CHIEFS
PASSING OFFENSE: B -- The
Patriots got off to a slow start, but Tom Brady's final numbers looked
solid as usual. He completed 15 of 27 passes for 234 yards, and he
threw two touchdown passes to TE Rob Gronkowski, who has become one of
the league's most dangerous red-zone weapons.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- The
Patriots made an effort to establish the run, and it paid off, as
BenJarvus Green-Ellis finished with 81 yards on 20 carries, an average
of 4 yards per carry. Even rookie Shane Vereen got in on the act with
39 yards on eight carries, including a touchdown.
PASS DEFENSE: B -- Tyler Palko
wasn't much of a threat, but credit Kyle Arrington for coming through
with another big performance. Arrington had two interceptions and is
now tied for the league lead with seven. The Patriots are starting to
round into form despite have to use spare parts such as WR Julian Edelman in the secondary.
RUSH DEFENSE: C -- The Chiefs
didn't run much in the second half when the game got out control, but
they had early success whenever they decided to hand off. Thomas Jones
averaged 6 yards per carry, while Dexter McCluster finished with 4.9
yards per carry. The problem is the two only combined for 16 carries, a
byproduct of the final score.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- Anytime you
get a punt return for touchdown, such as the one the Patriots got from
Edelman, it's a good night on special teams. Edelman's 72-yard score,
which came directly after a Brady-to-Gronkowski touchdown, put a
nightcap on the victory and essentially ended Kansas City's chances of
COACHING: A -- Though we'll
never know if the Patriots really made any adjustments at the break,
it's worth noting they came out looking much sharper in the third
quarter and put the game away quickly. Plus, it appears Bill Belichick
isn't afraid to improvise, using Edelman on defense to help fill the
void in the secondary.
CHIEFS REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS
RUSHING OFFENSE: C --
Obviously, the scoreboard did not allow much for the running game in
the second half, as the Chiefs fell behind by 21 points before the
third quarter was half over. The RBs did OK with 120 yards on 24
carries. Thomas Jones had what passes for a good day for him with 48
yards on 8 carries, including a nice 26-yard run.
PASSING OFFENSE: F -- There
were a lot of things that Tyler Palko did well in this game. But three
interceptions and three sacks makes it a failed test for his first NFL
start. Palko did not get enough help from his receivers, who tipped two
balls that became interceptions. Protection was spotty as he was hit
nine other times.
RUSHING DEFENSE: D -- Allowing
157 yards on 35 carries was not good, but they didn't get gashed for a
lot of big runs and the Patriots ran the ball a lot in the second half
with that big lead, getting 105 yards on 23 carries.
PASSING DEFENSE: D -- They were
able to put some early pressure on QB Tom Brady, but after three sacks
in the first half, they couldn't get him on the ground after that. They
didn't cover TE Rob Gronkowski very well, allowing a pair of TD plays.
But they kept WRs Wes Welker and Deion Branch under wraps, as they
combined for just four catches for 41 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- There's no
passing grade when the kicking game gives up a touchdown. On his
72-yard TD punt return, New England's Julian Edelman went untouched.
That just can't happen in coverage, especially with a punter that does
a good job of hang time and field position punting like Dustin Colquitt.
COACHING: D -- Todd Haley and
staff tried all sorts of gambits to generate some fire and momentum
against New England. They used offensive sets that haven't been seen
this year, including running the Wildcat. They tinkered with their
defenses. They tried an onside kick. Give the staff credit for not
standing pat, even though most of what they attempted failed to produce.
- Chiefs Game Chatter
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Report Cards: Patriots - Chiefs
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