Belichick was more succinct: “This was obviously a disappointing night. We had some opportunities tonight. (We) weren’t able to take advantage of them.”
If you look around the AFC, there are a handful of teams that have enough talent to do what the Patriots nearly did. The only squads capable of beating the Chiefs are the ones who can limit possessions, avoid turnovers, pressure Mahomes and match up with their fleet-footed receivers. The Steelers can do that because they have Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and a slew of athletic playmakers on defense. The Patriots can do it because they just made the Chiefs sweat without Newton.
The Chiefs also will meet a Buffalo team in Week 6 that has quickly made everyone realize that last year’s success was far from a fluke. The Bills made the postseason as a wild card team in 2019, with most of their accomplishments resulting from a fast, physical defense. Now, Allen has turned into a quarterback who’s making Mahomes-like throws and fully enjoying the presence of shifty new receivers like Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. That Buffalo defense has plenty of talent as well, with a fierce pass rush and a secondary led by Pro Bowl cornerback Tre’Davious White.
1. Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator
Bieniemy, 51, is waiting patiently for his first head-coaching gig as the latest top protegee of Andy Reid. The Chiefs’ deep Super Bowl 54 run may have taken him out of the mix for some teams who couldn’t wait. Given his work with Patrick Mahomes, he is overdue for a shot. The Falcons could consider either offense or defense as the speciality of their next head coach, as they need to play better complementary football, period.
The Chiefs offense always tend to struggle against the Patriots and that’s exactly what happened for the first three quarters of this game. After getting just two field goals in the first half, the Chiefs exploded in the second half with two touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes. With Cam Newton out for the Patriots, the Chiefs defense took advantage of an overmatched New England offense. The Chiefs forced the Patriots into four turnovers, including a pick-six by Tyrann Mathieu that iced the win.
7. Tommy Townsend put together an all-time performance.
Townsend, punting in just his fourth game as a professional, set a franchise record on Monday night by averaging 60.8 yards-per-punt across his four kicks. The University of Florida product piled up 243 punting yards and landed one inside the 20-yard line.
Kansas City Chiefs
4-0 · .375
Biggest needs: Interior OL, WR, edge rusher
This week’s game: vs. Raiders
If there’s one area to focus on here for the team that seemingly has everything, it’s the offensive line. Starting center Austin Reiter and left guard Kelechi Osemele have contracts that expire in 2021, while the deals for starting OTs Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz are up after next season. Two other first-stringers that could be lost to free agency: WR Sammy Watkins and edge rusher Tanoh Kpassagnon.
Around the NFL
MVP: Russell Wilson, Seahawks. This seems sort of obvious. But I still think Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the sport, and Buffalo’s Josh Allen has shaped up as a real dark horse. And if Dallas can get its act together, Dak Prescott’s outsized statistics could put him square in the running too.
Offensive Player of the Year: Alvin Kamara, Saints. After Michael Thomas gets back, I’m not sure Kamara will keep getting the touches he’ll need to win this award. But through four games, he’s been off the charts—averaging 4.7 yards per carry, ranking fifth in the NFL in catches (30), and getting in the end zone seven times (four rushing, three receiving).
He caught three passes for 50 yards, snagging a 28-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter to pull the Bucs within three points after being down 17 in the second quarter.
“It’s a tough injury,” Brady said after the game Sunday, when the initial fear was that Howard would be done for the season. “I think everyone feels for O.J. and what his commitment’s been to the team through the offseason [and] training camp. He’s just been a great player for us and it sucks to lose him. It’s a tough injury.”
“We always work on Mondays coming out of byes, but very rarely do we work on Thursday,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. “The issue for us last week was, we didn’t know that we had a bye until we were at work on Thursday. So the PA and the league were considerate of those special circumstances, and they allowed us to stick to our schedule.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
13. Cleveland Browns (16th)
14. Dallas Cowboys (10th)
Somehow, I think we’ve found a team more unbalanced than the 2018 Chiefs.
15. Arizona Cardinals (12th)
Remember two weeks ago when everyone was drinking that Arizona Kool-Aid?
A tweet to make you think
PFF grades vs the Patriots
Gay Jr. 82.6
— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) October 6, 2020