PATRIOTS - CHIEFS: Report Cards

The Kansas City Chiefs dominated the first half of their contest against the New England Patriots, and did enough in the second half to shutdown any chance for a miracle Tom Brady comeback. The New England Patriots had a horrible first half, then started to make adjustments. By the time they did, the game was over. Here are report cards for both teams.

PHOTO: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green (10) is sacked for a loss by New England Patriots' Rosevelt Colvin in the fourth quarter Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won, 26-16. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

PATRIOTS - CHIEFS: Report Cards
By Site Staff

PATRIOTS REPORT CARD VS. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

PASSING OFFENSE: D-plus -- Tom Brady (22-of-40, 248 yards, one touchdown, four interceptions) was off target all day as his throws consistently sailed on him. The four INTs tied his career high, and his passer rating of 42.5 (it was 15.0 at half-time) was the second lowest of his career. The only time he was worse was in a 31-0 loss at Buffalo in the 2003 opener when his rating was 22.5. Brady was 10-for-12 for 142 yards and a TD on the two touchdown drives in the second half, and he started the fourth quarter by connecting on his first nine throws. But that was too little, too late. Leading receiver Deion Branch (five catches for 49 yards) had only a 3-yard reception through the first three quarters.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- What rushing offense? Take away Brady's 15-yard scramble and two end-arounds from receiver Tim Dwight that netted 17 yards, and the Patriots rushed for only 42 yards on 15 carries, an average of less than 3.0 yards per attempt. Dolphins castoff Heath Evans had been an unlikely star of the previous two games (against Miami and New Orleans). But he fell back to earth against Kansas City (six rushes for 11 yards) as Corey Dillon (calf) sat out for the second straight game and had no carries for the third week in a row. Patrick Pass (eight carries, 26 yards) also was ineffective, although he did run for a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- Trent Green (19-of-26, 323 yards, TD) became the fourth straight quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards against the Patriots. The lack of a pass rush -- a season-long problem -- meant that Green had too much time to survey the field and pick apart the Patriots' muddled secondary, which debuted its seventh starting strong safety (Artrell Hawkins). The Patriots allowed another big play -- Dante Hall's 52-yard touchdown catch was the seventh passing play of 50 or more yards they have surrendered this season. Five Chiefs caught passes, and all of them had at least 53 receiving yards. Tight end Tony Gonzalez (four catches, 63 yards) had two potential touchdown catches in his hands but could not hold on, or the numbers here would have been even worse.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- After effectively neutralizing the running games of Miami and New Orleans, the Patriots took a step backward. Larry Johnson (31 carries for 119 yards) became the fifth back to crack the 100-yard mark against the Patriots this season, although he averaged just 3.8 yards per attempt. Johnson had 79 yards on 20 carries in the first half, helping the Chiefs to a 19-3 lead at the break and nearly a 2-to-1 edge in time of possession.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus -- Not part of the problem, but not part of the solution, either. The Patriots gave up a 39-yard kickoff return and an 11-yard punt return to Dante Hall but otherwise were OK on coverage. The Chiefs' coverage units had struggled all season, but the Patriots couldn't take advantage of it. Tim Dwight had a 32-yard kickoff return but averaged just 21 yards per runback, and Troy Brown mustered only 9 yards on two punt returns. Adam Vinatieri hit his lone field-goal attempt.

COACHING: D -- It was a tough week for the Patriots' staff with head coach Bill Belichick absent from Sunday night until Thursday following the death of his father. No one used that as an excuse, though, because the Patriots have looked bad in plenty of other games this season. Through the first three quarters, the Patriots had no answers for the Kansas City offense, which wasn't stopped until it got into the red zone. Brady's scattershot day made it hard to evaluate the offensive play calling, but the Patriots were shorthanded without Dillon and No. 2 receiver David Givens (knee).

 

CHIEFS REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS

PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Trent Green spread the ball all over the field and among all of his prime targets. Five receivers had gains of 20-plus yards, and improved pass protection was a huge reason for Green finding time to look downfield and develop some rhythm. WRs Eddie Kennison and Dante Hall had receptions of 42 and 52 yards, respectively, and TE Tony Gonzalez worked the underneath routes for four catches and 63 yards by half-time alone.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Larry Johnson started strong with 79 yards on 20 carries by half-time But in the second half he was held to 40 yards on 11 carries, one of which he fumbled at the Pats 22. His 3.8 yard average on his 119-yard day was his first time under 4.9 in his last five games.

PASSING DEFENSE: B-plus -- Getting four picks of Tom Brady and limiting him to his second-lowest passer rating (42.5) as a starter should merit an A. Brady, who had a 15.0 rating at half-time, hit only seven completions in his first 20 attempts. But he shredded the Chiefs on touchdown drives of 69 and 78 yards and could have gotten the Pats to within eight points with 10 minutes remaining had New England converted a two-point conversion. And, three of the four picks came off balls deflected by New England receivers.

RUSHING DEFENSE: A-minus -- The only reason the Patriots averaged 4.1 yards on their mere 18 carries were two end-arounds by Tim Dwight that gained 17 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus -- K Lawrence Tynes was truly tested on only one field goal, a 47-yarder into the wind just before half-time That was a big-time kick as opposed to chip shots from 25, 20 and 33 yards earlier. Hall had one decent return, a 39-yard kickoff return, but little otherwise. Punter Dustin Colquitt continues to struggle in his rookie year. His 36.0 net will keep him within sight of the league's basement.

COACHING: A -- Gunther Cunningham might have done his best job of the year in setting up his defense. Kansas City's defenders were well-prepared for New England's favorite routes. Al Saunders mixed run and pass nicely and had Green ready to throw all over the field when finally given time to do so.

 

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