Keys to a Patriots Victory Review: Week 14
The New England Patriots lost their second game in a row to Kansas City by a score of 23-16 on Sunday. New England didn’t play well, but they still had a chance to win the game even with a few bad calls by the referees.
It is time to review how the Patriots fared in their Week 14 keys to a victory we laid out last week.
1) Slowing down Patrick Mahomes
The reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes started out very slow vs. the no. 1 defense in the league. He threw an interception on his first pass and started out 0-for-4 on his pass attempts. Mahomes looked like he was fighting through a hand injury in the early part of the game, but he was the MVP for reason, and showed that with his resiliency at Gillette Stadium last Sunday.
Mahomes was the driving force in leading Kansas City to a 20-7 halftime lead over New England. He finished the completing 26-for-40 passes for 283 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
The Patriots were able to limit Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense to only three points in the second half as they were able to hang on for the win.
2) Shutting down Tyreek Hill
Tyreek Hill, the speedy Chiefs wide receiver, was held to six catches for 62 yards. He was Kansas City’s second leading receiver after tight end Travis Kelce. Hill’s value to the Chiefs is that his speed and versatility can open up other things for Kansas City.
Hill leads the league in pre-snap motion and it is such a weapon for Andy Reid and the Chiefs. The matchups that he can create just by a simple motion is dangerous for opposing defenses. While Hill can have a quiet game numbers wise, he can still have a tremendous impact on a football game.
Overall, New England was able to limit Hill. Unfortunately, a couple of others Chiefs playmakers did damage against the Patriots in Week 14.
3) The Other Guys Stepping Up
The other guys did not step up. Julian Edelman and James White were on the receiving end of 13 of Tom Brady’s 19 completions. Jakobi Meyers had one catch and it was not a pass thrown by Tom Brad. His lone catch came from James White. Mohamed Sanu had one catch. N’Keal Harry had one catch, which should have been a touchdown, and was only on the field for two snaps. Not a good sign for the 2019 first round pick. Phillip Dorsett had zero catches.
A lot is being asked of Tom Brady, Edelman, and White. White and Edelman have the attention of the opposing defense and Brady does not trust the other players. Brady is choosing to throw the ball away most of the time rather than trying to squeeze the ball in tight windows, which could lead to turnovers.
It seems that the Patriots' biggest plays on offense come from trick plays. But those types of plays don't work often enough to have a consistent impact.