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Chiefs vs. Patriots: Game Takeaways

Here are a few things we can take away from the Chiefs 41-14 victory Monday night over the New England Patriots

The Chiefs dominated all facets of the game against the Patriots—offense, defense and special teams.

They once again relied on the running game to set the tempo for this offense, as Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis split time in the backfield.

Charles and Davis combined for 34 carries and 199 yards and one touchdown on the ground, although Charles added two more scores in the receiving game.

After the game, Charles said he's proud of the way Davis has developed into the player he is today. 

"Knile is starting to believe in himself and is starting to get comfortable," Charles said. "I'm happy for him that he's really finding his way in this game."


Charles went on to say the plan all along was to get both running backs involved in the game.

"We knew before the game that I was going to get some reps and Knile was going to get some reps," Charles said. "Coach Reid is a great offensive mind—he knows how to put us in the best situation to help our team win."

One player who continues to find himself in good situations is tight end Travis Kelce, who had a career-high eight receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown on Monday night. 

"I'm willing to do whatever I need to do to help this team win," Kelce said. "Whether it's (run blocking), catching (bubble screens), blocking or running deep—I pride myself on being versatile."

Kelce said they can build off this victory.

"It keeps this momentum going," Kelce said. "It gives us kind of something to build off of, but at the same time, we're going to watch film, see where we made the mistakes and build off of that.

"It's fun when you can go out and play that physical and that well on both sides of the ball and come out with a victory like that."

One player who played extremely physical for the Chiefs defense was safety Husain Abdullah, who might have played his best game as a Chief on Monday night.

Abdullah made his presence known from the very first play of the game for the Patriots offense, where he fought through the block of an offensive lineman to make the tackle on a screen play out in space.

Abdullah said the defense fed off the crowd's energy.

"We knew that if we make plays, they would reward us," Abdullah explained in the locker room after the game. "So it's kind of like, we reward them by making a play, they reward us by giving us the energy and we work hand-in-hand."

One of the biggest defensive plays of the game was Abdullah's interception return for a touchdown off Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Abdullah explained his thought process when he got near the goal line after making the interception.

"I was running and I was like 'I'm too close. I want to score,'" Abdullah said. "So I saw them kind of over-pursuing and I saw [Justin Houston] back there so I said 'Alright I'm going to give it a shot and I was able to get in.'"

While there are plenty of good things to come from this game, the truth of the matter is the same whether it's a great performance or one that is poor—that it's only one game.

"It's only one game," Chiefs Pro Bowl outside linebacker Justin Houston said. "I'm pretty sure it's the NFL. You've just got to bring it every weekend so hopefully we can keep it going."

Houston picked up two sacks on Monday night and leads the Chiefs with five sacks so far this season. He became the second-fastest Chiefs player to ever reach 30 career sacks, which he did in just 47 career games.

Turning Point in the game – DL Jaye Howard's effort-play on second-and-3 in the second quarter

In a game full of big plays from the Chiefs offense, the turning point in this game, in my opinion, was on a second-and-3 play early in the second quarter from defensive lineman Jaye Howard.

The Chiefs had a 7-0 lead and the Patriots offense had crossed midfield on a third-and-4 conversion to receiver Brandon LaFell on a 14-yard pass from Brady.

On the next first down play, Patriots running back Shane Vereen ran off the left guard for seven yards, which set up a second-and-3.


Howard was lined up as the left defensive end for the Chiefs defense and came up field to rush the passer, and once he got to within five feet or so of Brady, the pass was thrown out into the flat to Vereen.

He was now not near the play.

With room to run after a missed tackle, Vereen had a shot at getting to the first down marker up the right sideline, but hustling down the line of scrimmage was Howard, who didn't hesitate or slow down once his attempt at getting to the quarterback wasn't successful.

It would have made sense for there to be some kind of hesitation from Howard after the pass was thrown from Brady—maybe a show of disappointment of not forcing a quarterback pressure or something.

But that didn't happen. 

This was a play that began in the middle of the field and ended with a tackle right along the sidelines. Howard tackled Vereen short of the first down marker and forced a third-and-short from the Chiefs 42-yard line.

On the next play, linebacker Josh Mauga flew in and blew up the running play, which resulted in no gain and the Patriots decided to punt it to the Chiefs.

After a fair catch on the 14-yard line by Frankie Hammond, the Chiefs offense needed just three plays to go 86 yards for the touchdown.  

The first play was a 48-yard run by Knile Davis, the longest of his career, which was setup by some ghost action from receiver AJ Jenkins, who faked the end-around and which cleared out two of the Patriots defensive backs.

The very next play was a 33-yard completion to Kelce after the Patriots defensive back fell down in coverage, and finally Jamaal Charles finished it off with a 5-yard touchdown reception.

If Howard had not put in the kind of effort he did on that second-and-3 play, the Patriots offense could have had a first down in Chiefs territory, trailing just 7-0.

But the spark of his effort resonated through the Chiefs sideline, and the response was big play after big play from the offense.

The Chiefs took the 14-0 lead and never looked back.

Top Offensive Play – Dwayne Bowe's 11-yard reception on third-and-8 with 3:03 left in first quarter

There were a lot of really good plays from the Chiefs offense during this game, but the one that stood out the most as having the most impact was Bowe's catch on third down late in the first quarter that set up the Chiefs first touchdown.


On third-and-8 from the 17-yard line, Alex Smith hit Bowe on a post route that resulted in a 15-yard gain for the Chiefs offense.

Jamaal Charles scored on the very next play on a 2-yard run.

It wasn't the longest or flashiest play for the Chiefs, but it set the tone for the entire game—this Chiefs offense was going to make plays when it needed to. 

Top Defensive Play – The Tamba Hali strip-sack on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

With three takeaways in the game, the Hali sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery was chosen as the defensive play of the game simply because it was the first takeaway of the season for the Chiefs defense, and it happened on a vintage Hali play.


With the Chiefs holding a 17-0 lead midway through the third quarter, the Patriots faced a second-and-7 from their own 14-yard line.

Hali blew past Patriots left tackle Nate Solder and popped Brady before he could release the ball. Hali then chased down and recovered the fumble.

Hali moved into second place on the Chiefs all-time list of forced fumbles with 30 after the play, surpassing former Chiefs great Neil Smith.

Hali is currently 15 forced fumbles away from tying Derrick Thomas (45).

Top Special Teams Play – Phillip Gaines' two standout plays on punt coverage

For the second week in a row, Chiefs rookie Phillip Gaines has made a name for himself by making plays on special teams.

Last week against the Dolphins, Gaines had a huge hit as a gunner on the punt coverage team, and he did the same thing on Monday night.

With the Chiefs holding a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter, punter Dustin Colquitt drilled a 54-yard punt to the Patriots 9-yard line.

Right as returner Julian Edelman caught the punt, Gaines greeted him with a crushing hit that stopped Edelman in his tracks. The timing for gunners to make these kinds of plays on special teams is always tricky, but Gaines seems to have figured something out over the past couple of weeks.


But that wasn't the only big play from Gaines on special teams Monday night.

Early in the second half, the Chiefs had a drive stall in Patriots territory, and they decided to punt from the 38-yard line.

Colquitt hit a beauty high in the air and gave his coverage team, and most notably on this play, Gaines, a chance to get behind the ball and guard the goal line.

Gaines caught the ball off the bounce with his feet on the 1-yard line, and while his momentum was taking him into the end zone, he calmly threw the ball to his teammate, receiver Junior Hemingway, just to make sure it didn't go in the end zone as a touchback.

It was a fantastic heads-up play by the rookie.  

There is much to take away from this game if you are a Chiefs fan.

The title of loudest stadium in the NFL has been reclaimed and the team is back to .500 and riding all kinds of momentum, but lest not forget how much this team has had to overcome to be in this position.

Six projected starters from training camp were not playing in this game in safety Eric Berry, linebackers Derrick Johnson and Joe Mays, defensive lineman Mike DeVito and offensive linemen Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson.

Rookie playmaker De'Anthony Thomas has also yet to make his NFL debut.

The job this Chiefs coaching staff has done, led by Andy Reid, along with general manager John Dorsey and his crew, to not only put together a roster capable of stepping out on the field and competing with the likes of the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, but to win convincingly and dominate all facets of the game like they did on Monday night—it's something to cherish and appreciate. The Chiefs have taken a step forward each week this season, and they'll continue that march forward when they get back at it on Wednesday as they prepare for the San Francisco 49ers (2-2).

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