September 29, 2016

Pats Pregame Points: Game 10 vs. Chiefs

By Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Have you ever been kissed by a rainbow? Nuzzled with a unicorn? Felt the sweet breeze of an angel’s wing?

Any one of those comes in second to beating the Jets in the Meadowlands.

New England defied the odds Sunday, defeating Gang Green to sweep their season series and leap ahead in the AFC East Division standings. Pretty awesome stuff.

On to the Chiefs, who bring their 4-5 record and shaky quarterback situation to Gillette Stadium next Monday night.

KC Jones: New England’s recent schedule has included Dallas, Pittsburgh and both New York franchises. Frankly, it’s about time they played a team under .500, and Kansas City is merely the first of many such squads.

The downside, of course, is that the Pats must stay wary of each team despite appearances. New England’s defense can stink like my daughter’s diapers; it’s not like they’re going to suddenly become stoppers.

Romeo Void: Speaking of defense, Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel knows a few things about his former team. Interesting to see if he’s got any riddles for quarterback Tom Brady to solve Monday night.

Everybody, Pat Chung Tonight: Despite a lineup of safeties about as familiar to New Englanders as gila monsters, the Patriots managed to keep the Jets at bay. Patrick Chung might still be hurt. Rookie Sterling Moore delivered the hit of the night, albeit on teammate Devin McCourty. James Ihedigbo has an interesting name.

It’s just that there’s not a lot to put one’s faith in, is all we’re saying.

Put Your Records Andre: With a pass-rushing crew so anemic it gets its blood checked on a regular basis, call us surprised at the success of Andre Carter rushing the QB. Specifically, his four sacks of Mark Sanchez tied a franchise record last week.

A fluke night, or a sign of better things to come? We shall see.

They Wuz Robbed: Too much Rob Gronkowski and Rob Ninkovich for the Jets. Brobdingnagian tight end Gronk caught two touchdown passes and towered over New York’s secondary, while Ninkovich snared two interceptions, one for a game-clinching pick-six in the fourth quarter.

Gronkowski has remained as solid as a wad of taffy on the North Pole, but the Patriots have lacked individual playmakers on defense. A couple of turnovers against the Chiefs and Pats fans will be going to bed happy.

Me, And My Chad, Oh: Pats Daily fave receiver (nope, not true at all) Chad Ochocinco had the longest pass of the game at New York, yet for the most part looked more nervous than a high school kid asking his crush to the prom. Call us when he can stay on the field in the hurry-up offense.

Still, a couple of first-down passes per game wouldn’t hurt. Chad? Would you be our date?

The Line In Winter: Looks like the offensive line has deteriorated as the season has progressed. Guys like Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder have played hurt, while Logan Mankins has had one of his lesser years in Foxboro. New England had a lousy day rushing the football and must do better.

Shane On You: And what about that rookie running back, the Shane Vereen kid? Is he okay? Would it kill the coaches to give him a few plays?

Cannon Fired Up: He’s been keeping it low key for the press, but we bet rookie lineman/small planet Marcus Cannon (6-5, 348) has been aching to play after missing time recovering from cancer (diagnosed during the NFL combine, of all things). Not sure if we’ll see him this week, but happy to have him on the roster.

Turn To The White: The Patriots’ linebacking crew lacked Brandon Spikes, but core special teamers Tracy White and Jeff Tarpinian picked up much of the slack. The smaller, speedier linebackers did well in mid-level coverage (credit White with knocking tight end Dustin Keller to the ground to aid Ninkovich’s second interception) and held up surprising well vs. the run.

Revis And Butthead: Though Darrelle Revis covered him like a tarp for much of the game, receiver Wes Welker was just stubborn enough to help out in a couple of clutch situations, including a big third-down conversion.

The good news? The Chiefs don’t have Revis on their team.

Have Fun Storming The Cassel: Will New England be able to pressure Chiefs QB Matt Cassel?

Wait, what? Cassel won’t play this week? It’s backup Tyler Palko?

Ooh, hold on a sec…

Tyler Parries, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”: We hope so, Tyler. We certainly hope so.

Much to discover Monday night in Foxboro. We can’t expect a possible win over the Chiefs to give us the satisfaction of overtaking the Jets, but at this point we’ll take all the victories New England can get.

Chris Warner can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Reply