Grading the New England Patriots after they lose by 27 points is not a fun job. Generally, there is at least one group that plays well for the Pats, even after a bad loss. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this week. The special-teams played well compared to everybody else, but they didn’t play great either.
And now, without further ado, this week’s game grades:
Pass Offense: F
I haven’t given them an ‘F’ yet this year, but I couldn’t find a way to “pass” them after their horrid performance on Monday night. The offensive line sucked, the receivers sucked, the running backs sucked, and the quarterbacks sucked (except for Garoppolo…so basically just Brady).
The Patriots decided to start two rookies against the Chiefs, and while Bryan Stork played pretty well for his first start, right guard Cameron Fleming struggled all game long. But I don’t think it is fair to be too harsh on Fleming, given that this was his first start, it was against a quality defense, it was in a hostile environment, and guard is not even his best position.
However I will say that if the Pats want to have any kind of success on offense this year, they should keep the same five lineman week in, and week out. They need to build some chemistry with each other. A rotation is not the way to go.
Aside from Brandon LaFell, the receivers weren’t any better, which caused Brady to have a pretty crappy game. Nearly every play, he would drop back, have no where to go with the ball, and then were be surrounded by four or five red jerseys.
Rushing Offense: F
Again, the offensive line didn’t do anything to help out the running backs, but this was a bad game for everybody involved in the run game. I think it started with play-calling, because the Pats came out in the shotgun, and made it a priority to throw the football. They then fell behind quickly, which forced them to throw it.
But even when they did run it early, they refused to give Stevan Ridley the ball. It was all Shane Vereen, which was extremely surprising. Don’t get me wrong, Vereen is a great player, but as I have been saying ever since he came into the league, Ridley is the better running back. Even with no blocking, Ridley is a tough, physical, strong back, and he can get things going when the offense stalls.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen on Monday, and the Pats suffered because of it.
Pass Defense: F
Coming into this game, the Patriots had the best pass defense in the league (and somehow still do), but got absolutely torched by Alex Smith. The former Ute completed nearly 77% of his passes, tossed three touchdowns, and finished the game with a 144.4 passer rating. New England never came close to sacking Smith either, which played a big role in Kansas City slicing up the Pats’ defense.
Even Darrelle Revis got burned, although a big reason was the scheme of the Patriots. Bill Belichick refuses to play this defense in the way they were meant to be played, and continues to play them in a tentative, soft zone defense.
The Chiefs love to play the dink and dunk game, and the Patriots had no problem allowing them to do it all night long.
Run Defense: F
The run defense was probably the worst unit of the game for the Pats, even with the horrid showing of Tom Brady’s aerial attack. The Chiefs ran at Chandler Jones early and often, and gashed the entire front seven from start to finish.
Jones is a great player, but it is obvious when a team wants to load up and go at him, and the Pats don’t adjust, they will be able to rack up as many yards as they want. Vince Wilfork, Joe Vellano, and Chris Jones also struggled, as they couldn’t get any push into the backfield, and got stuck on blocks easier than I have ever seen.
It is obvious Sealver Siliga is extremely important to their run defense, and until he returns, the Patriots are going to have to devote way more resources to the run game than they want.
Special Teams: B
Ryan Allen was called upon to punt six times, and averaged nearly 50 yards a punt. Gunner Matthew Slater also made a few huge plays, as those two salvaged what was otherwise a putrid game.