The Patriots headed into Kansas City with a 2-1 record and a laundry list of issues to fix, mainly on offense. Many, myself included, expected the Patriots to start the process of improvement versus the Chiefs, specifically in the passing game. The expectations were way off as Kansas City utterly dominated the Patriots in a 41-14 blowout. There have been ugly games in the Belichick/Brady era, but this was an alarming game for Patriots players, coaches and fans alike.
Every facet of this game was dominated by the Chiefs. Andy Reid and the Chiefs coaching staff completely outcoached Belichick and his staff. The Chiefs ran better, threw the ball better, protected Alex Smith better, and also played significantly better on defense. It was ugly all around for the Patriots, a team many expected to be 4-0 after the first quarter of the 2014 season. Their two wins thus far weren't all that pretty either so it is safe to assume that Patriot Nation is as nervous as ever.
The game plan used by New England made zero sense; having three wide receivers, three tight ends and five running backs active typically would make for a run-heavy gameplan, yet the Patriots came out in shotgun and never established the run. When New England did run, most of the reps went to Shane Vereen, who did not run well. Rob Gronkowski was a non-factor, being targeted three times and finishing with two catches for 31 yards and a meaningless touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter. The offensive line issues are still there, but there was slight improvement.
New England not only looked awful on offense, the defense also had their worst outing in 2014. The gameplan on defense didn't make sense either. Why sign Darrelle Revis to have him sit back in zone? Is this going to continue with the return of Brandon Browner? My guess is they will start to play more man, but why wait? It is not like they are giving away secrets using Revis to take away the other team's top weapon. The whole plan is confusing and the schedule only gets harder from here.
The Cincinnati Bengals head into Foxboro Sunday night to take on the Patriots. The 3-0 Bengals have been very impressive and appear ready to come into Gillette and win. If the Patriots don't clean up their issues ASAP, this game could be as ugly as the last one.