ReFo: Patriots @ Chiefs, Week 4

Ben Stockwell breaks down the Chiefs rout of the Patriots on Monday Night Football to conclude Week 4 in the NFL.

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Patriots @ Chiefs, Week 4

2014-REFO-WK04-NE@KCThe Kansas City Chiefs completed their speedy recovery from an 0-2 start with another emphatic victory over an AFC East opponent. A week after disposing of the Dolphins without Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs crushed a lackluster New England team who themselves now sit at 2-2 a month into the season.

The Chiefs controlled the ball, the clock and the tempo of the game never letting Tom Brady and his offense find any sort of rhythm as Jamaal Charles and co. built a comfortable lead never looking like letting the Patriots mount the sort of comeback that some might have hoped for at halftime.

New England Patriots – Performances of Note

Brandon LaFell, WR, +1.7

Breakdown: Starting off with a rare bright spot for the Patriots, even if it came in largely in garbage time this was comfortably LaFell’s best and most productive game for the Patriots. Forcing a career high four missed tackles (as many he has ever forced in 2013) LaFell topped 100 yards for only the third time with 96 yards coming after the catch.

Signature Play: Put the Patriots’ first score on the board with 3:35 left in the third forcing two of his four missed tackles converting a short slant on 1st-and-10 into his first touchdown for New England.

Tom Brady, QB, -3.9

Breakdown: Not much went right for Brady in the first half last night and then with the game out of reach came two poor decisions on his interceptions. A miscommunication with Edelman obscured the fact that Sean Smith had the throw read anyway and his pick-six to Husain Abdullah was a mistake that you simply don’t expect Brady to make.

Signature Stat: In the Patriots’ two victories this season Brady has a +4.7 overall grade, in their two defeats his overall grade is down at -6.6.

Rob Ninkovich, OLB, -3.1

Breakdown: Symptomatic of a poor performance by the Patriots’ pass rush, Ninkovich led the team with 27 pass rushes but recorded only one unblocked hurry in the face of a rollout on Travis Kelce’s touchdown. Not his usually effective self in run defense either Ninkovich added only a solitary stop after collecting three in the Patriots’ last two games.

Signature Play: On one of four times dropping into coverage Ninkovich was left on his back at the line of scrimmage by Knile Davis with 1:58 left in the third as Davis got upfield for a third down conversion.

Kansas City Chiefs – Performances of Note

Travis Kelce, TE, +2.0

Breakdown: There were 35 snaps for Kelce last night and another strong showing in the passing game from a player really adding a spark to the Chiefs’ passing game. His +3.7 receiving grade through three weeks sees him sit fourth among tight ends in our grades behind only Martellus Bennett and Larry Donnell.

Signature Stat: Kelce was too hot to handle after the catch for the Patriots as he forced four missed tackles with all of his catches coming on targets within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Husain Abdullah, S, +5.6

Breakdown: After a strong showing at the end of last season Abdullah has won himself a starting gig and he is running with it. Only 12 of his 50 snaps last night came at free safety. Abdullah used that role as a box safety or slot corner to be a persistent nuisance to the Patriots with his five stops and his pick-six, surrendering just 39 yards on 11 passes targeted into his coverage.

Signature Play: Put the icing on the game with his pick six with 10:44 remaining, ghosting well underneath Danny Amendola before weaving his way to the endzone for the score.

Jamaal Charles, RB, +2.4

Breakdown: Though Knile Davis recorded his second straight 100 yard game it was Charles who starred on his return to the Chiefs’ backfield. Consistent gains on the ground were paired with him posing a redzone receiver adding a pair of touchdowns, one out wide on a screen and one on a speed out leaving Jerod Mayo in the dust in the flat.

Signature Play: Charles’ first touchdown came with 2:24 left in the first quarter with his blend of speed and toughness ensuring that he found the crease on the cutback, driving to the goal-line before the Patriots were able to close the gap.

PFF Game Ball

His presence in the box was a significant factor in the Patriots’ offense stalling throughout the game and Husain Abdullah’s pick-six to ice the victory gave his performance the prominence it deserved.


Follow Ben on Twitter: @PFF_Ben

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Chris

    Brady’s done.

    • MrBoo

      Sure and Geno Smith is the real deal… Pats Season starts after Thanksgiving. Gronk will be in form and maybe they even find a Oline…

      • Chris

        They won’t make the playoffs the way they’re playing. Their best showing in 4 games is blowing out the Vikings after they lost Peterson and were still starting Cassel. They had trouble beating Oakland at home, and they’ve gotten blown out by the only two “good” teams they’ve played. 34-74 margin against Miami and KC.

        That division is totally up for grabs. The Dolphins probably have the most talent, but they shoot themselves in the foot all the time. Buffalo has a top defense but an inconsistent offense that stems from a well below average QB. The Jets are in the same boat as Buffalo, except they’re better up front and not as good in the secondary.

        It’s time to call a spade a spade after 4 weeks. The Pats have a pretty good defense but a below average offense. They have a horrendous OL, and Belichick is an idiot for trading Mankins. They can run the ball, but their passing attack is below average and can be shut down by any competent defense.

        Oh and Geno Smith sucks. He’s as bad as Manuel.

        • MrBoo

          how do the Pats look now btw? Gronk Gronk Gronk

          • Chris

            Lul at this lame as troll attempt. I dont hate the Patriots.

            And I almost think somewhere in there I mentioned they won’t make the playoffs “the way they’re playing right now”. Oh wait there it is in the first line! They aren’t playing the way they were before, they’re playing much better and it starts at OL and with Gronk. They would’ve blown out the Chiefs if they played them now.

            But nice try. I’m glad I’ve been on your radar for a month just waiting for a chance to try and get back at me for talking bad about your team. Keep up the good fight, brah.

          • MrBoo

            not my team, i bleed green 😀 we were just too harsh to normally slow starting Pats 😛 and i just found out how to use disqus and that i can see all posts i did. yours was just the last 😛

          • Chris


            Congrats on beating the damn Steelers yesterday then.

          • MrBoo

            not this pathetic green team 😉 Eagles

          • Chris

            Oh. Well then.

    • Jay

      It’s tough to say he’s done when he has the worst pass blocking line in the NFL and bottom tier defense and two weapons, one being gimpy and the other being 5’8 years ago this wouldn’t have been that big of an issue but Brady is 37 years old now. This is when he should have more help than ever. Instead he has less.

      • Chris

        I agree on not having the best help. But he used to succeed no matter what weapons he had, and he made everyone around him better. He’s not doing that anymore. He can’t carry a team like he used to.

        When i say he’s done I mean he’s not a top tier QB anymore. He’s average at best, and with a below average line and not many weapons he can be shut down.

        Also, below average defense? The Pats have their best defense they’ve had in years.

        • Jay

          Both times their D has faced even a half decent offense they have given up more than 30. This isn’t the best they’ve been in years it looks like it’s only going to get worse.

          • Chris

            And my response would be:

            In the two games they gave up 30+ points, the offense turned the ball over in its own third 5 times giving up 31 points off short fields (14 to Miami, 17 to KC).

            In the other two games they haven’t turned the ball over.

            Without those 5 turnovers on their own side of the field those games become much closer and their defense doesn’t allow 30 each time.

          • [email protected]

            That is not allowed Chris. You can’t bring up real football events. This website is about statistics. They gave up 30+ points so the defense is bad.

          • Chris

            LOUD NOISES

      • rogue

        The problem with the he-needs-more-help-as-he’s-getting-older argument is that Brady’s decline coupled with the cap space his contract takes up means that there is little or no room for error for personnel decisions.

        • Jay

          Accept that at this point the Patriots are 13 million under the cap. Had a chance to sign Eric Decker or Emmanuel Sanders both of which are only carrying a cap hit of 4 million dollars this season and even with Mankind at the time they would have been affordable. Bad front office work is mainly to blame for the team today.

          • SCW

            Actually, the Pats are only about $9M net under the cap and were a bit less than $5M under before Mankins was traded. They’ve also been carrying an unplanned $7M in dead money through 2013 and 2014 from cutting Hernandez. Even though Decker/Sanders might have been only $1M more expensive than LaFell – THIS season – next season might be a different story. The Pats are already at $137M in cap expenses for 2015, and that’s without re-signing McCourty and a bunch of other key players. IOW, maybe managing the cap isn’t as easy as it looks.

    • Pat Patterson

      He still has games against the NFC North defenses – look for the media to say “HE’S BACK!” or something stupid – before the pats get blown out in the playoffs.

    • Nick

      We’ve all learned that you can’t count out Tom Brady or the Patriots.

      However, making the post-season is expected of the Patriots. This isn’t a team with the goal of making the playoffs; this is a team with the goal of winning the Super Bowl.

      Does this look like a team that can compete in the playoffs? No. Not by a longshot.

      Belichick and the management staff were heralded for their draft-day strategies of stocking up on picks and trading away veterans that seemingly were in their prime. This strategy, however, has not worked for the last 3 years.

      The NFL changes rapidly and it finally seems that Belichick is not keeping up

      • Chris

        I can agree with all of this.

      • rogue

        The Pats haven’t won a SB in 10 years. Since SB42, the Pats postseason record is 4-6, which is propped up by wins over the Tebow-led Broncos and the upstart Colts, both games at home.

        When is the last time Brady won a big game?

        That said, you’re quote, “Does this look like a team that can compete in the playoffs? No. Not by a longshot.” makes your post contradictory.

        Maybe you mean that by “you can’t count out Tom Brady or the Patriots” that they will hit a soft spot on their schedule and win just enough games to snag the weak AFC East?

        Big deal. That would have meant something prior to 2001, but not for a team long in the tooth of the BB/TB era.

        Brady is 37. That’s not old in the NFL. It’s archaic. He’s done.

        • Nick

          That’s like arguing the Broncos are a bad team because they haven’t won the Super Bowl since 1998. Or how about the 49ers? Bad team, right?

          The Patriots have been a competitive team every year since 2001. They went to the SB in 2011…not that long ago. Odds are, they’ll still make the playoffs this year. That’s better than most teams in the league.

          Peyton Manning had a record-breaking year as a 37 year-old QB last year. Oh, you must have forgotten that. Brees is 35. Looks like he should hang it up.

          • Brian

            To be fair, I don’t think NE is making the playoffs and it’s more to do with the whole team than Brady, they are not good. Even if they do, gunna get smoked. There are many AFC teams better, and they won’t have the joke of Tebow, or a missed FG to gift them through this time. I mean let’s be realistic..they are not a good team this year. Those WRs, that O line, defense may be solid but they couldn’t touch the KC backs, and couldn’t stop Alex Smith throwing behind the line of scrimmage most of the time, and going for first downs lol

          • Nick

            If NE doesn’t make the playoffs, then who will from their division?

            Are you going to tell me the Jets, who have one win over the Raiders? The Bills, who just benched their QB in favor of Kyle Orton? The Dolphins, who might be firing their coach and/or benching their starting QB?All the teams are a mess right now. But if I had to bet, I’d still go with the Patriots over those other teams.

            Now that I think about it, Brady was benched, Manuel was benched, Geno might be benched and Tannehill might be benched. Can’t remember the last time I saw that much QB dysfunction in ANY division in football. Especially in one week. Now, we all know Brady will be starting the next game, but still…

            One team from the East has to go in, and they’ll probably be eliminated in the WC round. But that gets back to my point. You can’t count out BB/TB. They make the playoffs and they can make a run. Lesser teams have done it.

          • Chris

            The Dolphins have the most talent of any team in that division. New England just isn’t a good team this year.

          • Izach

            Brady has been declining for years now, 37 is old for any QB some ppl can just keep playing favre had a great year before his last year, some ppl can do it some can’t brady has had a great career and lucky enough to win SBs early in his career and have continued individual success with stats due to a scheme change in the middle of his career, but Father Time is and always will be undefeated

    • Brian

      Not done, I think his team sucks more than anything, (especially an always strong O line finally starting to weaken) but no doubt…Brady is on the decline. His stats have been good but actual play hasn’t had the same look for years now, I’d say since 2011, and this year…no one can deny his offense is bad but it also can’t be denied he looks WAY off. Dude is 37, been playing for 13 years…the end may be near.

  • Stacy D. Smith


  • daniel

    I just dont see what “decline” everyone is talking about.. I watch the Patriots evrery single game and theres nothing Ive seen that actually shows his ability dropping off.. is he dropping off mentally or somehting? I just doubt thats what you are all seeing since hes only older and wiser.. physically his arm strength is the same as ever, throws lasers on shorter routes. His deep-field passing has regressed soley because of randy moss who used to just catch up to those almost overthrown balls brady always makes down field (because youre supposed to overthrow so the d cant make play) I know im ranting here, and am starting to be like a steve young (“go through me if you want to knock brady”) but honestly what are you people seeing that makes you think the quarterback himself (not the Patriots team) is declining?

    • Pygskyn

      Both Brady AND the team are declining. Just look at the laundry list of poor passes, ducks, and bad decisions against the Chiefs, Raiders, and in the second half against the Dolphins.

      Jimmy G came in, looked better, and drove right down the field and put up 7. Yes, KC’s defense were playing off when he did it, but they were also playing off when they got the pick 6 on Brady right before Garoppolo came in. Anybody that is watching Brady objectively should be able to see that he is not looking like himself out there. Of course his O-Line is playing nearly as bad as Miami’s line last year, and Brady has always been susceptible to pressure, but this is well beyond what we have seen in the past from pressure.

      Who knows if Brady will continue to decline or if he will bounce back, but it is painfully obvious that at the moment, he’s nowhere near the QB he has been in the past.