Patriots Beat Chiefs And 21 Things To Remember From The Game

So...yeah. All those people saying the New England Patriots would rout the KC Chiefs on Monday Night Football?

They were right. The Patriots beat the Chiefs 31-3 at Gillette Stadium on Monday night. Unfortunately, many of us were all too prepared for a result like that.

Among the highlights: Tyler Palko played better than expected but still led a team with only three points and threw three picks himself, Chiefs are nowhere near the level of a team like the Patriots and this loss is another step to quickly securing the Chiefs non-playoff season.

Here's a list of 21 notes I took down during Monday night's game:
Chiefs start the game at an up tempo pace. Impressive start, really (considering my expectations). They went three and out on their first drive and forced a Patriots to call a timeout on the second offensive drive as New England clearly had substitution problems. Yes, Tyler Palko is effectively running the no-huddle offense.

Tough fourth down call for Todd Haley. On the Chiefs second drive they had a nine-play drive that included two first downs before coming up on a 4th and 1 from the Patriots 36-yard line. That's slightly out of Ryan Succop's range (53 yards) so it seems that going for it made sense. Instead Haley's Chiefs lined up to try and draw the Pats offsides before punting it away. Methinks the Chiefs should have taken a shot at going for it there, especially when you considered the sense of urgency the Chiefs later displayed by kicking the onside.

Thomas Jones, where have you been? Out of nowhere, Jones had a 26-yard run that put the Chiefs within the five yard line.

Haley takes a page out of the Sean Payton school of coaching. After the Chiefs kicked a field goal, Ryan Succop pooched a surprise onside kick. The Chiefs appeared to recover but the ball barely clipped a KC player before the ball went 10 yards so New England held onto it. Payton, the Saints coach, did that in their Super Bowl victory over the Colts (they got it).


Through one quarter, Tyler Palko > Tom Brady. No, really. (I emphasize, through one quarter.)

Chiefs get what they need early in the game -- a Tom Brady fumble. It was caused by Wallace Gilberry but we have to give a hat tip to the Chiefs secondary, who held strong forcing Brady to hang onto the ball and allowing Gilberry to come all the way around the corner to take Brady down. Gilberry hasn't even been playing as much lately but that was a huge play at the time. It gave the Chiefs hope early.


Patriots starting position on first four drives: 34, 10, 35 (KC), 6. Or punt, punt, fumble, punt. Credit the Chiefs defense for creating that turnover when the Patriots started on their side of the field.

"It's only a matter of time." That's what Ron Jaworski said as Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski across the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown on their fifth possession. The Chiefs blew the coverage on that one -- no one was covering Gronkowski.

Chiefs defense is the story through the second quarter. Three sacks, which is a third of what they've had in the previous 10 games. That's a sack-fumble for Gilberry, one sack for Amon Gordon, who's taking Glenn Dorsey's spot, and then Tamba Hali's sack.

Palko's first pick late in the second quarter slows the momentum. Palko was completely drilled as he released the ball looking for Breaston down the field. The ball was behind Breaston -- it's questionable whether he should have caught it -- and it was picked off by Kyle Arrington on the tipped ball. Judge for yourself on whether Breaston should've caught it.


The feeling of the game at halftime: It's 10-3 in favor of New England through the first half. I think you have to be content with this first half. Tyler Palko has led the Chiefs to just three points on offense but he didn't crap the bed -- he's been average and that's better than we expected. The real story, though, is the Chiefs defense. They've been very good through the first half with one major mistake when Rob Gronkowski went uncovered across the field for a 52-yard touchdown. The pass rush has been consistent throughout the night with three sacks, including a forced fumble. Even on the Gronkowsk touchdown, Brady had to stand in the face of pressure.

Wes Welker's first half stats: Zero catches. Chiefs DC Romeo Crennel is taking away what the Patriots do best and it's showing.

Patriots turn to the power running game early in the second half. This is a passing team, right? The Patriots started the second half with a nice rushing attack. 25 yards, 8 yards. 12 yards. 8 yards. And they did some of it with OT Nate Solder lined up as a fullback, and multiple tight ends. The drive was capped off by Brady to Gronkowski, again. Pats take the lead, 17-3 early in the third quarter.

Just like that, the game is getting out of control. With 9:24 remaining in the third, I can confidently say the game is over. Julian Edelman's punt return touchdown makes it 24-3 in the third quarter. That's 24 unanswered for New England and they've done it in just 9 minutes and 57 seconds.


Rodney Hudson replaces Ryan Lilja at left guard. This is an injury -- neck/head injury for Lilja, per reports.

Chiefs going to the wildcat at times. It starts with Tyler Palko under center, and then he shifts out as a receiver, the ball is snapped to whoever is in the back field -- Jerheme Urban or Dexter McCluster.

Three picks for Tyler Palko. The thing is, I didn't think he played that bad. He completed a high percentage of his passes and two of his interceptions weren't tipped balls (but both still probably on him). At the end of the day though you can't win with three interceptions.

Wes Welker's catch streak continues. Welker has caught a pass in every game since the 2005 season (88 games). In this play, the Patriots gave him an easy-to-catch screen pass.

Ha, the Patriots go for it on fourth down. With a little over a minute left in the game, the Patriots went for it on a fourth and 4 and got it, moving their lead to 34-3. ESPN's Mike Tirico mentioned Haley has had a few handshake troubles himself.

What the win means: It's another huge blow to the Chiefs if they had the crazy idea of making the playoffs. The'yre 4-6, two games behind the Raiders and need to basically run the table in order to make the postseason. So, yeah, that's not going to happen.

Jon Gruden says it well: "Losing back to back games against Miami and Denver wasn't the worst part of their schedule." Like Pittsburgh next Sunday night.
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