The New England Patriots (2-1) looked to reassert themselves at a spotty home victory over the Raiders last Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) had other ideas in front of a raucous home crowd at Arrowhead Stadium.
Here's what we say in the first half of this Monday Night Football showcase.
The Chiefs Strike First
After the teams traded punts to open the proceedings, Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs offense went to work with a purpose on their second drive of the game. Smith went 4-of-5 for 41 yards, a healthy Jamaal Charles rushed three times for 22 yards (including the 2-yard burst of a drive-capper), and the Chiefs took six minutes off the clock on an eleven-play TD drive. With a 7-0 lead in hand, the momentum was firmly in Kansas City's favor.
What Happened To The Patriots' Offense?
It didn't show up for the first half in Arrowhead. After a lackluster showing against the Raiders in Week 3, Tom Brady and company continued to struggle early on at putting things together. Coach Bill Belichick dialed up several plays for RB Shane Vereen on the team's first two drives (to fair effect), but the lack of explosiveness in the passing game allowed the Chiefs to key in on the box and force the Pats into two early punts.
Their third and fourth drives didn't go much better, as a litany of short passes by Brady (9-for-15, 75 yards) wasn't enough to keep them on the field.
Chiefs RB Knile Davis Deserves A Look In Fantasy
While Charles looked fantastic in his return from injury, Knile Davis' ability to gain separation away from would-be tacklers gives Kansas City an extra dimension to their rushing attack. Case in point was Davis' 48-yard sprint to open KC's third drive - a rush that opened up thanks to Davis' body control and tackler awareness. Charles would finish the drive off with a 5-yard TD catch (making it 14-0), but it was who Davis got the engine running on the possession's first snap.
The Chiefs Defense Dominates
Besides forcing punts on every New England possession, Kansas City held the Pats to just 96 total yards in the first half (compared to 311 for the Chiefs). Their fourth and final stop of the half was a giant one, setting up the Chiefs offense for a late push with time winding down. K.C. would cash in for three on a Cairo Santos field goal just as time expired.
Mixing a timely pass rush and top-tier secondary work against the Patriots' receiving corps, KC's defense made a 17-0 halftime advantage look insurmountable heading into the break.
Patriots Player of the Half: WR Brandon LaFell (3 catches, 28 yards)
Chiefs Player of the Half: RB Jamaal Charles (10 rushes, 58 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 1 catch, 5 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD)Back to the Kansas City Chiefs Newsfeed