Patriots defeat NFL's worst unstoppable behemoth

Published: 10/15/2018 2:14:56 AM
Modified: 10/15/2018 2:14:44 AM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Patriots defeated the previously unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs 43-40 in a thrilling game on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, knocking off the worst unstoppable behemoth in the NFL.
As Stephen Gostkowski’s game-winning field goal sailed over the crossbar with no time left, the announced crowd of 65,878 simultaneously concluded the same thing: These explosive, invulnerable Chiefs are clearly the dregs of the NFL’s elite.
“The objective is to actually win the game and we didn’t do that,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, acknowledging that his team could be better and thereby implicitly suggesting it wasn’t the perfect squad it had held itself out to be over the first five weeks. “We all have our things that we can do better and so, you go back and you do that. It’s a long season and the objective is to get better for that next week. And so that’s what we got to do.”
What once had seemed like an opportunity for the Patriots to prove they were indeed among the league’s top teams fizzled upon the realization that the Pats lost to Detroit just three weeks ago. And therefore, the 5-1 Chiefs, great though they may be, are nonetheless not as great as the 2-3 Lions.
Anyone who felt the Chiefs were the best of the best had to have realized they were among the worst of the best when they observed second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes throw two interceptions to an old, slow, inexplosive defense that has only had a minimum of one interception in every game this season.
As predicted, offense dominated the game with the teams combining for 83 total points, 946 yards of offense and just one punt. The Chiefs offense, with cat-like speed and reflexes, led by the wunderkind former MVP candidate Mahomes, were stifled in the first half, delivering just three field goals and the two interceptions. For all of their speed, weapons, talent and success, the Chiefs were clearly a soft team unable to rise to the occasion as they trailed 24-9 heading into halftime.
But in the second half, Kansas City took advantage of a defense that got torched by Nick Foles in Super Bowl LII for 41 points. Mahomes unimpressively came within one point of Foles’ total by capitalizing on a Tom Brady fumble, a 97-yard kickoff return from Tremon Smith and three Tyreek Hill touchdowns to tack on 31 points in garbage time. Naturally, this begged the question: Just how good can a team be when it fails to defeat a team that gives up 31 points to its opponent in a single half?
It surely was expected that the Chiefs, however perfect they had seemed through the first week of October, would surrender some offense to the great Tom Brady. And that they did, as Brady finished 24 for 35 for 340 yards, one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown and no interceptions. He also led a game-winning drive of 65 yards that took the final 3 minutes and 3 seconds off the clock.
That’s all perfectly well and good, but the embarrassing part for the Chiefs is that they gave up 106 yards on 24 carries (4.4 yards per attempt) to Rookie Draft Bust Sony Michel, who was a total waste of a first-round pick. Michel now has 320 yards in a three-game span, something no other Patriots running back drafted by Bill Belichick has ever done. Dion Lewis never did it either. BenJarvus Green-Ellis did it in his 65th career start, but he was playing for the Bengals by then. Jonas Gray, who was drafted by no one, did it within four career starts, which is one start faster than Michel. Gray then immediately left Foxborough to make a lot of money or something because he’s so awesome. Anyway, all these amazing running backs except Rookie Drafty Bust Sony Michel never had 320 yards in three games. So that has got to eat at the Chiefs, who once appeared mighty.
Prior to Sunday’s win over the Chiefs, a win over the Chiefs is something the Patriots could have been proud of. But in hindsight, having achieved such a win merely leaves New England with the task of proving that they can beat a team who is better than them, one task this storied franchise still hasn’t accomplished and probably never will.
Dave Brown covers the Patriots for the Monitor. You can follow him on Twitter @ThatDaveBrown.

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