Week 12 Game Recap: New England Patriots 16, Kansas City Chiefs 26
What you need to know
The struggles started early in this game. The Patriots’ defense could never find a way to stop Chiefs’ running back Larry Johnson or quarterback Trent Green. They were kept on their heels by the Kansas City offensive line and the running of Johnson.
Tom Brady suffered through one of his worst games ever as a pro quarterback. He endured an abnormally low completion percentage for him and threw four interceptions. He saw three of his passes bounce off of his receivers’ hands and into the arms of Kansas City defenders. A fourth pass was just overthrown and intercepted.
With Corey Dillon still inactive due to injuries, the Patriots were unable to maintain any rushing consistency against the Chiefs. They actually had rushing attempts by five different players but were not able to mount a running threat.
When it was all over, despite the disappointment the Patriots had to feel, they could still go away with hope, due to Buffalo’s loss, the Patriots held onto their two game lead in the AFC east. With a favorable schedule the rest of the way, they still stand a very good chance of reaching the playoffs.
Kansas City is still facing an uphill challenge for the playoffs, but they are putting together the necessary effort on successive weeks to indicate they have a strong chance to be playing in the post season. After blowing out the overmatched Texans last week, they backed up that statement with a resounding defeat of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. They were able to stay within two games of the division leading Denver Broncos, but they are still technically outside of a position as a wild card team in the playoff standings.
The Chiefs controlled this game against the Patriots. They dominated on offense and on defense. With the welcome return of offensive lineman Willie Roaf to the Kansas City starting lineup, the Chiefs pounded the Patriots’ defense, repeatedly running Larry Johnson against them. Johnson was dependable moving the chains for the Chiefs.
Trent Green saw his fortunes continue to improve as he received standout performances from several receivers including a tremendous 52 yard completion for a touchdown to Dante Hall.
On defense the Chiefs put up a brick wall to stop the Patriots from running and then they were able to sit back and pick off Tom Brady. They gave Brady one of his least enjoyable games ever as the pass defense picked him off four times during the contest.
Kansas City remains in the playoff hunt, but it will be a hard test for them to make it. In the remaining five weeks of the season, they will have to successively face the Broncos, the Cowboys, the Giants, the Chargers, and the Bengals. It’s good and essential that they seem to be coming together as a complete team at this time.
What you ought to know
|QB Tom Brady, Pass: 22 - 40 - 248 - 1 TD / 4 INT, Rush: 1 - 15 - 0|
Brady distributed the ball well. He completed passes to nine different Patriots’ receivers during the contest. He stood in strong against a very good pass rush and was able to find second and third passing options. His final quarterback rating was the second worst ever for him as he finished with four interceptions. However three of those picks came after the ball bounced off of one of his receivers’ hands. Without those missed chances, the final results could have been decidedly different.
|RB Patrick Pass, Rush: 8 - 26 - 1, Rec: 1 - -2 - 0 (2 targets)|
Pass was back from earlier injuries and was once again relied on to replace the injured Corey Dillon. Pass managed to score one touchdown on a short running play, but he was mostly bottled up for the entire game by the Chiefs’ defense.
|RB Heath Evans, Rush: 6 - 11 - 0, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (3 targets)|
Evans was also called on during the game to try to get the Patriots’ running game jump started. He was held to minimal yards on the ground but he was somewhat successful receiving the ball from Brady.
Cloud was brought in briefly late in the game to attempt to change the fortunes of the rushing attack for New England. He was only run once. Since he gained five yards on his only carry, perhaps the Patriots should have considered using him more often.
|WR Tim Dwight, Rush: 2 - 17 - 0, Rec: 5 - 76 - 0 (6 targets)|
Dwight was one of the brighter performers for New England. In addition to his typical exceptional kickoff returns, he was their most productive receiver. He was dependable as a target for Brady, and he was able to generate regular extra yards after the catch.
Branch was regularly blanketed in the coverage scheme of the Chiefs. He was targeted often but Kansas City kept him under close wraps and usually refused him the ball. On the receptions he made, the Chiefs defenders quickly converged and prevented much after the catch yardage.
Davis had one good catch but was not called on very often and is not looked to often enough to be included on a fantasy team at this time.
Brown had one good catch during the game. He no longer produces well from a fantasy viewpoint, but he is still a viable option for Tom Brady’s passes.
Watson has become one of Brady’s favorite options. He was a clutch performer and although he did not finish with impressive statistics in this game, he can be depended on for tight end production.
Graham remains a good backup fantasy point producer at tight end. He shared the tight end responsibility with Watson and Fauria, often in multiple tight end formations.
Fauria received one pass from Brady for a touchdown and was missed for a connection on a two point conversion. Fauria did not have any significant impact until late in the game when he became a favorite of Tom Brady.
Vinatieri was, as usual, extremely dependable. He remains one of the top kickers in the National Football League. He converted on both of his scoring kicks, one field goal and one extra point. None of his kickoffs were returned for large gains either.
The Patriots rushing defense was handled by the Chiefs’ offensive line and by the bruising running of Larry Johnson. In the second half, they managed to toughen up a bit and stop the Chiefs some, but the damage was already mostly done. When it mattered most, the New England rush defense was beaten by the Kansas City offense.
The New England pass defense was consistently beaten by the Chiefs. They saw Green throw to only three wide receivers, one tight end, and one running back; yet they were unable to cover those players. Trent Green picked apart the Patriots’ secondary. Too often the few receivers utilized by Green were open and able to add on extra yards. New England appears to be missing too many starters due to injuries and turnover. Ty Warren and Rosevelt Colvin each recorded a sack against Trent Green.
|QB Trent Green, Pass: 19 - 26 - 323 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - -2 - 0|
Green enjoyed an excellent day as he was able to pick apart the Patriots’ secondary. With an exceptional running attack, Green was able to stand in the pocket commanding the field of play. He only targeted five Chiefs with his passes during the game. He might need to utilize other receiving options in the upcoming games for the Chiefs.
|RB Larry Johnson, Rush: 31 - 119 - 1, Rec: 5 - 53 - 0 (6 targets)|
Johnson continues to shine. He was a powerful force pounding into the Patriots. They were unable to stop him as he gained 119 yards on the ground and another fifty through the air. He has now gained over 450 yards on the ground in the three contests he has started since Priest Holmes was sidelined for the year due to injury. He had one late fumble in what otherwise was an all around outstanding performance.
Richardson did not have any point production, fantasy or otherwise. He was again effective while being used as a lead blocker.
Parker appears to finally be back from his early season injuries. He looked like the extra receiver that the Chiefs had hoped he would be. He is the speed wide receiver the Chiefs were hoping for. He finished with the highest yardage total for all Chiefs’ receivers. We may need to wait until after another game to see if this can be depended on in future contests.
Kennison was a solid contributor, able to get open for Green and producing good yardage after his receptions. He did not stand out from the other wide receivers during this contest as he has through most of this year.
Hall was again a triple threat for the Chiefs as a receiver; he caught both passes thrown to him. On one pass he used his elusiveness and speed to turn it into a 52 yard touchdown reception. While not breaking loose for any huge returns, he was able to provide good, dependable yardage on kickoff and punt returns. Hall is an excellent option for a fantasy team and for Trent Green. He is a very dangerous player that the opposition had better be prepared for.
Gonzalez was able to run free quite often. He kept finding holes in the Patriots’ coverage and then Trent Green found him. His receptions and yardage were good, but he still is missing out on the end zone. He did not score a touchdown again. For the year he still only has one touchdown.
Tynes was perfect for the day. He successfully converted both extra point attempts and he kicked all four field goals attempts through the uprights. He tied an NFL record by kicking four field goals in one quarter. His kickoffs were also controlled and did not allow any overly large returns.
The Kansas City rush defense could not have hoped for much better results. They held the Patriots to only 74 yards total on the ground. They were dominant.
The Chiefs’ pass defense did allow Brady to pass for 232 yards, but they won the battle against one of the greatest players in today’s game. Brady had a pedestrian completion percentage and the Chiefs’ secondary was able to pick off four of Brady’s passes. Greg Wesley had three interceptions and Sammy Knight had one interception of Tom Brady. The Chiefs often hurried and hit Brady and they also recorded three sacks against him, one by Jared Allen, one by Kendrell Bell, and one by Sammy Knight.