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.
ReFo: Patriots @ Chiefs, Week 4
The 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.
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Ben Stockwell | 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.