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Patriots Game Updates
FINAL: Patriots 43, Chiefs 40.
Tom Brady did Tom Brady things to set up Stephen Gostkowski for a game-winning chip shot. First he finds James White in space, then drops a 42-yard dime into the arms of Rob Gronkowski. In the end, the Patriots’ two best players came through in the clutch.
Credit is also due to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who scored 31 points in the second half and really kept the pressure on Brady to keep scoring. The Patriots offense came up big and executed much better once they went down 33-30, and that turned out to be the story of the game.
Wow. There’s not much else you can say about the Chiefs’ last drive. One play, 75 yards, Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill. The Patriots blew their deep zone on the catch, where Duron Harmon got caught trying to tackle Hill in the open field. That’s hard for any defender in the NFL to do. After limiting the big plays in the first half, the Patriots defense has been seriously burned in the second half.
On top of that, some poor drives by the Patriots offense have let the Chiefs climb back into the game. It’s become the shootout to end all shootouts, as the winner of the game might have to hit 50.
Big, big stop for the Patriots defense. Key on this one was the pressure by Trey Flowers and Adrian Clayborn to rush Patrick Mahomes into an ill-advised deep ball, which Jason McCourty nearly picked off in center field.
Chris Hogan, where have you been!? The receiver has had a trying start to the season, but he just made his biggest play to date. Tom Brady completed it to Hogan for 42 yards on a third-and-1 play when he had nowhere to go in the short area of the field. Hogan made another catch later int he drive, which Brady finished himself by barreling into the end zone.
A stop would be nice for the Patriots defense, here. But this is starting to look like Brady may have to engineer another go-ahead drive late in the fourth. We’ll see what Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid cook up here. Also … can Red manage the clock right?
Yikes. The Patriots’ poor kickoff coverage finally burned them badly on a 97-yard return by Tremon Smith. Patrick Mahomes found Tyreek Hill matched up against Devin McCourty again, and McCourty isn’t going to keep up one-on-one.
This is starting to feel like the 2017 season opener all over again. Chiefs rev it up in the second half and blow by the Patriots, while shaky execution by Brady and the Pats offense has them chasing.
Time for Tom Brady to do Tom Brady things, because it doesn’t look like the defense is going to have an answer for Mahomes the rest of the way.
Brady has to heave it up to James White on third down, and the throw is off as Brady takes a hit. Biggest possession of the game for the Patriots defense coming up.
Been a lot of talk about whether Patrick Mahomes is ready for the challenge of beating the Patriots in Foxboro, in prime time, in his first game at Gillette. This next drive will most certainly show what he’s made of. Same goes for the Patriots defense, which has sprung more leaks in the second half than the first.
Now the Chiefs can say they directly capitalized on a turnover by the opposing quarterback. Tom Brady was uncharacteristically careless with the football on third down, holding onto it too long and ultimately fumbling. Mahomes dropped a dime to Tyreek Hill to get the Chiefs within one point.
Brady is going to have to be light years better in the fourth quarter than he was in the third. The Chiefs are surging and Mahomes is looking sharper.
Another big defensive play for the Patriots in the red zone stalls another Chiefs drive. Elandon Roberts got a hand on Patrick Mahomes’ third-down attempt to Travis Kelce, which forced another field goal try for K.C.
Before that, Kareem Hunt burned the Pats defense for another big play on the ground. Chiefs offense continues to be explosive but imperfect in its quest for the end zone.
Tom Brady will get a chance to put the Patriots back up by two possessions on the next drive. Perhaps he could get Rob Gronkowski or Julian Edelman involved?
This time, it’s the Patriots’ turn to have a promising drive end in underwhelming fashion. Brady shredded the Chiefs all the way down the field with Josh Gordon and Sony Michel on the ground, but couldn’t execute on his chances at the end zone. He missed a wide open Chris Hogan on his incompletion to Julian Edelman, and chucked it to Josh Gordon in double-coverage but the throw was off anyway.
Big possession coming up for the defense to keep this Chiefs offense at bay.
Woof. Let Patrick Mahomes get outside the pocket and he can be deadly. He’s made some big throws in those situations tonight and none bigger than his incredible pass to Kareem Hunt for a 67-yard touchdown.
The Patriots are going to have to get back to doing what they did to keep Mahomes in the pocket for most of the first half. Can’t let him roll out like that all night or he can keep burning you deep.
Yet another good-looking drive for the Chiefs that ends badly. This was the worst ending to a drive yet, as Patrick Mahomes made a very poor decision to chuck the ball into double-coverage on Travis Kelce. Zero touchdowns for the Chiefs at the half.
Before that, Mahomes looked to be engineering a great drive to get the Chiefs back in the game. He completed a ridiculous 27-yard throw while running to his left on third-and-15, and completed passes to Kelce and Hill after that to set the Chiefs up close to the end zone. But his latest mistake cost them dearly.
Mahomes has not quite looked like the same player who has lit the football world on fire in his first five starts of the season. Meanwhile, the Patriots have played good complementary football and took advantage of a pair of short fields. They’re in business with a 15-point lead and the Chiefs needing to chase with Mahomes looking shaky.
Josh Gordon’s talent helped draw a timely flag for the Patriots, who got set up with a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line and made the Chiefs pay.
Penalties and turnovers have given the Patriots easy fields to work with, and the Chiefs can’t find the end zone. That’s the difference in the game so far tonight.
The Chiefs just had their best drive of the night, but yet again they stalled out in the red zone. Patrick Mahomes showed off his ability to throw on the run with a throw to Chris Conley. Kareem Hunt gashed the Patriots’ defense and looks like he’ll be an issue all night.
However, it was another big defensive play for the Patriots that kept the Chiefs out of the end zone once again. Stephon Gilmore stayed tight with Sammy Watkins and was able to break up Mahomes’ third-and-goal attempt. Mahomes may have been better off trying to run it in.
Thought Andy Reid might’ve gone for it on fourth-and-goal instead of settling for a 24-yard field goal. He certainly knows he can’t kick field goals all night and expect to keep up with the Patriots.
It’s already becoming a familiar story in Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are executing in the red zone and finding pay dirt, and the opponent is kicking field goals. Patrick Mahomes now dealing with an 11-point deficit and has looked shaky thus far.
Brady’s throw to Edelman looked a little dangerous coming out of his hands, but he put it only where Julian Edelman could get it in the end zone. Very nice throw and catch to complete another touchdown drive.
First Quarter Thoughts:
Overall, a nice start for the Patriots and a shaky one for the Chiefs. Both teams are making plays on offense in between the 20s, but the Chiefs have yet to find the end zone thanks to some errant throws from Patrick Mahomes and pressure up front by the Pats. Dont’a Hightower’s interception could go down as the key play of the game if this one turns out close.
Mahomes hasn’t quite shown that he’s ready for this stage yet. Still very early, but he’s been off through one quarter.
The Patriots stalled out the latest Chiefs drive with a blitz on third down. Adrian Clayborn was in on pressure as Mahomes got a throw off before taking a hit, but sailed it wide over Kelce. It would’ve been an incredible throw and probably a touchdown if he completed it.
Mahomes has been off with a lot of throws to start this game, and it’s due in part to the pressure up front. Disguised coverage led to Hightower’s interception.
Potentially crucial mistake by Patrick Mahomes early in the ballgame. He apparently didn’t see Dont’a Hightower drop into coverage and thought he had Travis Kelce wide open on a crossing route. Hightower made him pay by making the leaping interception.
Michel got rewarded for a fine first quarter by punching it in from the four.
Sony Michel has another good drive for the Patriots. He made a nice 12-yard run with a good-looking crease to the right, led by good upfield blocking from James Develin. Brady missed him on a 2nd-and-10 throw.
The drive stalled out with Chris Hogan coming up three yards short of the sticks. So far, both defenses tightening up the closer it gets to the end zone.
Patrick Mahomes got a promising Chiefs drive started with a pair of nice quick throws to Travis Kelce. The Patriots could have trouble covering him, based on the first drive.
However, Mahomes was off on two of his final three attempts of the drive. He overthrew Kareem Hunt on what would’ve been an easy touchdown if it were on the mark. And he missed Tyreek Hill high in the end zone, so K.C. had to settle for three points.
After one possession each, an ever-so-slight advantage for the Chiefs.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will take over at their own 41-yard line after Tom Brady’s pass attempt on fourth-and-3 falls incomplete, intended for Josh Gordon.
Brady targeted Gordon three times on the drive, completing a 12-yard slant on the first play from scrimmage. The next two fell incomplete, with at least one looking like a miscommunication (read: Gordon was in the wrong spot).
If Mahomes can lead the Chiefs down the field for a touchdown on the next drive, the decision to go for it on fourth-and-3 (and the play-call itself) will be a hot topic.
Chiefs win the coin toss. They elect to defer to the second half.
The Patriots and Chiefs have both taken the field at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady led the team out of the tunnel with Julian Edelman doing his customary sprint to the opposite end zone. Several Patriots kneel in prayer in the end zone before heading to the sideline.
The Patriots and Chiefs have both released their inactive players for the game. Among the notable inactives for the Pats: defensive tackle Malcom Brown, cornerback J.C. Jackson, and DE Keionta Davis. Derek Rivers will be active.
For the Chiefs, safety Eric Berry and linebacker Justin Houston are among the notable inactives.
Early start for Julian Edelman. He’s catching passes on the field three and a half hours before kickoff. pic.twitter.com/lQ9XPzk1X4— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) October 14, 2018
Tom Brady arrives ... with a fist bump. pic.twitter.com/VqdMdrCqRh— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 14, 2018
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