Patriots-Chiefs: Game Balls & Goats

The New England Patriots barely defeated the Kansas City Chiefs after suffering what could be a devastating setback - the loss of Tom Brady. While New England won, it wasn't pretty. We've handed out our Game Balls and Goats. So can you.

If you already know the drill, then send in your nominations. For those who don't know here it is:

Submit (up to) three Game Balls for good games by players, coaches, fans or whatever floats your boat.
Then submit (up to) three GOATS for bad things: games, plays, calls, fans, or whatever you like.

Honorable mentions allowed (and encouraged).



1) Randy Moss: A stellar game by Moss. Six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. Moss's presence, including a nice block on a Wes Welker screen play. Even with the fumble Moss still had a good game.

2) Sammy Morris: Morris' ability to hit the hole with speed and power made him look like he was five years younger. It also made starter Laurence Maroney look like just another back. Morris' 10 carries for 53 yards and touchdown looked far better than the 50 his teammate was able to rack up.

3) Matt Cassel: It wasn't pretty the entire game, but one play the Patriots desperately needed, Cassel delivered. Backed up on his own 1 foot line - due to a couple running attempt that went nowhere, Cassel stepped up and heaved the ball downfield for Randy Moss. It was a perfect throw that went for 51-yards and more importantly, gave Cassel and the offense confidence. He finished completing 13 of 18 passes for 152 yards with 1 touchdown and a 116 QB rating.

Honorable Mentions:
Lewis Sanders: Sanders was award with the start at cornerback opposite Ellis Hobbs. He fared OK, and actually made a crucial third down stop late in the game.

Ellis Hobbs: Hobbs turned in a great kickoff return 51-yards in the fourth quarter. Even if it didn't result in points, it showed that teams must respect the Patriots return game. Hobbs had a pass defended, and an interception on the day combined with his 3 tackles.

Chris Hanson: for all the heat Hanson has taken for shanked punts, he uncorked a punt for 70 yards in the first half that has not been seen at Gillette Stadium for some time.

Deltha O'Neal: O'Neal didn't start, but he certainly had an impact on the game. Though his punt returns were uninspiring, the defensive coverage he had on Dwayne Bowe with fourth and goal on the Patriots 5-yard line was picture perfect. O'Neal will get the start next week for sure with plays like that.


1) Benard Pollard: Chiefs DB only had one place to go to disrupt the pass and he went for it, right at Tom Brady's knee

2) Patriots 3rd-down Defense: What is it with this defense? They gave up 50% of the third down conversion against a subpar offense. New England was the worst team in the league allowing opponents to convert on third down 46% of the time. If it isn't fixed soon, the season is headed to the same place as Brady (the sidelines).

3) Chiefs O-Line Blocking: With one of the best running backs in the NFL, how could the Chiefs not open holes on the line for him. Every time Larry Johnson got the ball, the Patriots knew where he was going, and stuffed the play. 22 rushes for 74 yards isn't that bad, but it's not up to Johnson's typical standards. Maybe it's the play design.

Dishonorable mentions:

OC Josh McDaniels: The Chiefs were able to play well with the Patriots late in the game as if they knew the plays which were going to be called. Not knowing what plays were actually called, prevented this from being a goat, but the decision to run a flea flicker when the offense was working well, was a bad call. It wasn't the only one.

Matt Slater: After expecting big things from Slater he fumbles his first return. Not the same Slater we saw in preseason. He didn't return any kicks after that.

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