Chiefs stun Patriots to open 2017 season
posted Sep 08 2017, 10:21PM
story by Lee Harvey
posted in NFL, News

Is New England that bad on defense or has Kansas City improved that much on offense?

Well that was interesting. The New England Patriots opened up as 8-point favorites at home last night vs. the Kansas City Chiefs to kickoff the 2017 season. Before the game started, New England put on a pregame Super Bowl celebration rally that even their own fans hated, Colin Cowherd called it "embarrassing" among other things Should we care what Colin thinks?

Tom Brady (40 years old) going into his 18th season produced good drives in the 1st half, leading them to 2 TD's scored by Mike Gillislee (15 carries, 45 yards & 3 TD's for the game) & a 25-yard FG by Stephen Gostowski. But in the 2nd half, Brady was overthrowing guys & didn't look comfortable in the pocket even though he had a lot of time to find somebody to throw to. He was sacked 3 times & hit 6 times but 2 of those sacks came in the 4th quarter when Kansas City had the momentum. Brady ended up throwing 16 of 36 for 267 yards, no TD's & a 70 QB Rating (Completing 44.4% of his passes, 5th lowest completion rate in his career). I don't expect Tom to have games like this often but he is 40 & it's rare in the NFL to see QB's at that age throw for 3,500 or 4,000 yards....25 or 30 TD's & 10 INT's or less than. But before we see how Brady plays for the rest of the season, folks on Twitter made Brady's frustration into several memes. 

Brady Mad Meme? Brady Jokes This Early?

Alex Smith on the other hand was spectacular. Coming into last night's game, I had little to no expectations of him cause I seen how he plays. He'll dink & dunk the whole game, throw 1 time downfield maybe and he will scramble for a couple 1st downs. The man was the complete opposite last night. He threw 28 of 35, career-high 368 yards, 4 TD's & a 148.6 QB Rating including a couple TD passes in the 1st half to Demetrius Harris & Kareem Hunt that were crucial cause it looked like New England was gonna take control & never look back. People watching the game were surprised just like I was that he was capable of doing that on a Bill Belichick/Matt PatricIa-led defense (Chiefs offense this good?). Was the Patriots pass defense that bad or was the Chiefs trading up to draft Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick give Alex a wake-up call? We'll find out as the season moves along.

Kareem Hunt....no one thought (except people in the Chiefs organization) he would make an impact right away. Spencer Ware was out for the 2017 season after he tore his PCL in the preeseason, giving the 3rd round rookie an early opportunity. His 1st NFL carry was a lost fumble & it was shocking because he had 856 touches during his 4-year college career at Toledo, he only fumbled it 1 time & he recovered it. Kareem was real emotional about it on the sideline & teammates trying to calm him down. After the fumble, he went on to have 17 carries, 148 yards & 1 TD; 5 catches, 98 yards & 2 TD's (His 246 total yards from scrimmage was the most by a rookie RB making his debut in NFL history). He went from worrying about being benched cause he fumbled on his 1st carry to giving people who play fantasy football something to think about the next time he plays. Welcome to the NFL, Kareem Hunt.

Coming off his rookie year where he made his speed known league-wide, Tyreek Hill went into year 2 looking to improve as a WR. His 1st game of 2017 going against Bill Belichick who has a reputation of making small WR's like him or big WR's like Julio Jones a non-factor. That wasn't the case for Tyreek, he was much involved in the Kansas City offense. For example, this 75-yard TD where for some reason Stephon Gilmore & Devin McCourty lost him in coverage (Fastest Man In NFL?.) How you lose a guy that fast, I'll never understand.

Kansas City's defense defense looked like they were going to be in for a long day ar 1st but after the Kareem Hunt fumble, they stopped Mike Gillislee on 4th & 1 in the red zone. Huge stop cause the Patriots could've been up 10-0 if they chose to kick the FG or scored another TD to go up 14-0, either way they would've been down 2 scores. Instead they stop Gillislee & Alex Smith engineered a TD drive on the following series. Later in the game up 28-27 in the 4th quarter, the Chiefs defense stopped Gillislee on 4th & inches with 12:21 left. To me, those 2 stops on 4th & 1 and 4th & inches showed me that Kansas City's front 7 was much tougher than New England's offensive line.

Individually the stars on defense came to play too like Justin Houston, Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson & Marcus Peters. Justin Houston recovering from a torn ACL last season didn't look like himself only having 1 good game, last night he had 5 tackles, 2 sacks & 4 of the team's 6 hits on Tom Brady. Looking a lot more healthier which if you're Derek Carr, Trevor Siemian or Phillip Rivers...that won't be fun to play against. Eric Berry played like the All-Pro safety he's always been since the Chiefs drafted him in 2010 (5th overall pick). He had 7 tackles, 1 for loss & covered Rob Gronkowski locking Gronk down to just 2 catches for 33 yards. It just stinks that this was his last game of the season because he ruptured his right Achilles tendon in the 4th quarter, which will make Berry miss the whole season. Seeing the man come back from cancer, there's no one I want to succeed more than Eric Berry. I know he'll come back better & stronger because he's BerryStrong. Simple as that. Speaking of players coming back from injuries, Derrick Johnson made his 1st apperance to the field last night since he tore his Achilles late last season during a Thursday night home game against the Oakland Raiders. It's his 2nd time recovering from an Achilles tear & Derrick looked pretty good. 8 tackles, 2 for loss & 1 pass broken up....not bad for a guy coming off his 2nd Achilles injury. Marcus Peters did his job too, you won't see much on the stat sheet like the others (only 2 tackles) but he had the responsibility of covering Chris Hogan, Marcus had Hogan on clamps holding him to just 1 catch for 8 yards. Before the game started, he sat during the National Anthem becoming the 1st player in the 2017 season to protest the anthem (Protesting continues.) Of course he got backlash on Twitter for doing it but Marcus raised a fist when the Anthem was played last year just like Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. Thing is with those 2 dudes, a little backlash on Twitter isn't gonna stop them from getting their point across. 

New England's defense last season was solid all of last year, top 10 in mostly every category. They got off to a rough start to this season, allowing 42 points (21 in the 4th quarter) & 537 yards of total offense to a Kansas City offense who didn't gain over 500 yards in a game all of last season. It was the most points & yards allowed in the Bill Belichick era & he's been the head coach of the Patriots for 17 years now. Belichick's been in a bad mood cause all the media's doing is comparing his past Patriots teams to this one & all he wants to do is focus on the Saints who they'll play on the road next Sunday. Tom Brady said this after last night's game...

"We had it handed to us on our own field & it's a terrible feeling. The only people who can do something about it are in that locker room & we gotta dig a lot deeper than we did tonight and we didn't dig very deep tonight."

 

Lee Harvey
25 years old. Big fan of Ohio State football, Cavs/Celtics basketball & Cleveland Indians baseball. Looking forward to start a new journey in writin...



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