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Chiefs beat Patriots: 5 winners and 3 losers

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The Chiefs win in Foxborough. Let's talk about it. 5 takeaways and your comments and questions.

Posted by Arrowhead Pride: For Kansas City Chiefs Fans on Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the New England Patriots, 42-27, on the opening night of the NFL season Thursday. (Yes, really!)

Here are my winners and losers:

Winner: The two-minute drill runnin’, deep-ball throwin’ Alex Smith

Since Alex Smith joined the Chiefs, the narrative has always been he is good, but he is not great. And what has the reasoning always been? He won’t throw the ball down the field, and he and Andy Reid can’t run the two-minute drill.

On Thursday night, he did everything his doubters said he couldn’t.

The touchdown to Tyreek Hill in the third quarter was a 75-yard bomb down the right sideline, and his two-minute play to end the first half started on the 8-yard line with only 2:47 to go.

Watch this throw:

Later on, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Smith hit a streaking Kareem Hunt on a ball thrown 35 yards in the air. Hunt caught it at about the 50 and ran it the rest of the way for a 78-yard touchdown:

The two-minute drive was probably the most impressive feat to me because it’s something you questioned about the Chiefs dating back to two seasons ago in the same building.

Smith hit six different receivers on a drive that spanned 12 plays and 92 yards, concluding with the first touchdown of Kareem Hunt’s career. I’m not saying that all the Chiefs two-minute woes are cured, but it’s a good sign for the better.

Smith finished 28 of 35 for 368 yards with four touchdowns.

Winner: Kareem Hunt (wait, he fumbled?)

Hunt’s first play will be one he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

Hunt touched the ball 856 times in his four-year career at the University of Toledo, and he never lost a fumble. He did on the first carry of his NFL career.

Hunt looked to be pretty down on himself after the play, but after New England was unable to cash in (turnover on downs), he regained his composure, showing power and an ability to evade tacklers. He rebounded nicely and finished with seven carries for 47 yards at the half.

In the third quarter, he was the recipient of the aforementioned 78-yard scoring play, and he followed it up with a catch and gritty dive at the right pylon for a second score.

His numbers were not only the most impressive on the night for the Chiefs, but they were also historic.

Hunt had three total touchdowns in his debut.

Winner: Demetrius Harris

Tight end Demetrius Harris had a nice preseason, including a two-touchdown game that included a basketball-layup celebration.

Harris, of course, has basketball roots— he didn’t play college football because the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee didn’t have a team.

On Thursday night, Harris used his big body to create space in the end zone, almost as you would going up for a rebound in basketball, and Smith hit him for the score of the season.

Winner: Marcus Peters

Just because you hardly heard his name Thursday night doesn’t mean he wasn’t doing his job. Check out this tweet (from Pro Football Focus):

After an early pass attempt, Tom Brady didn’t target Peters again, and I suspect we’ll be seeing more of this throughout the season. His rookie year, they tested him, and he won defensive rookie of the year. Last year, they tested him less— All-Pro.

This year, he looks to have taken a whole side of the field away.

Winner: Justin Houston

May I point you to exhibit A:

And of course, Exhibit B:

We’ve been waiting to see Justin Houston healthy for a long, long time. It appeared that Thursday night, he was, and he finished with two sacks.

Loser: The defense as a whole

Hold on, hold on. The defense had a strong game, keeping a talented Tom Brady offense to 27 points.

The defense is a loser tonight as we wait for the results of safety Eric Berry’s medical tests. NBC reported Berry left the game with an Achilles injury and Reid confirmed it after the game.

Berry played with a mean streak all night before the injury, and he was a key component to the first fourth-and-1 stop that set the tone for the game.

Loser: Chiefs first-half pass rush

We’ll have to wait and see the numbers, but it looked as though the Chiefs pass rush was hardly pressuring Brady at all in the first half, in many passing downs only rushing three players.

They changed this in the second half, and it led to more success overall. The Patriots could only muster 10 points the rest of the way.

Loser: Terrance Mitchell

Hard to get down on anyone after a game like that, but there were a few plays Thursday night that led you to believe Terrance Mitchell could be a problem this season.

There were times when he looked beat and he was forced to take a penalty to avoid the touchdown. Mitchell had two defensive holding and two defensive pass interference penalties in the game.

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