62 Degrees, Clear Skies
- Bill Belichick’s decision to forego a FG attempt and go up 10 in the first quarter changed the entire tenor of the game; the crowd was up, defense had gained confidence by causing a turnover, and putting the Chiefs down two scores on the road in the opening game might have altered some of their playcalling. This is an example of how one decision by a head coach can materially change the flow and perhaps outcome of a game.
- The Chief’s offensive game plan was excellent. Andy Reid used the Chiefs’ superior offensive quickness to stretch the Patriots’ defense laterally with creative running plays, and then went over the top at critical moments. The Chiefs forced the Patriots to defend the entire field.
- The Chiefs’ defensive game plan also was excellent. They mostly rushed 3 or 4, pushed the pocket up the middle, and its man to man defense challenged all of the Patriots new offensive pieces. From a game plan standpoint, the only flaw was in the return game; it appeared D’Anthony Thomas had latitude to bring the ball out from fairly deep in the endzone, which resulted in poor field position on at least 2 occasions.
- The Patriots appeared unsure and tentative for much of the game. This perhaps is a result of integrating new personnel on both sides (e.g., Cassius Marsh in coverage). Also, two reverses by Hogan on offense seemed desperate.
- One key series was the Patriots’ offensive series up 10, near the end of the second quarter. The playcalling and tempo did not utilize much of the clock; leaving the Chiefs plenty of time to close to 3 pts at the end of the half.