Week 14 stock watch: Patriots suffer frustrating loss to Chiefs
The New England Patriots have fallen to 10-3 after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs at home, and are now 0-3 versus AFC division leaders this season.
The New England Patriots suffered their second loss in as many weeks, losing 23-16 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14. With just three weeks left in the regular season, this team desperately needs to find a way to improve, or else they will have to endure an entire summer of people proclaiming that the dynasty has finally come to an end.
It was another forgettable performance from the offense on Sunday. It’s difficult to pinpoint their weaknesses considering they are lacking in a number of areas on this side of the ball. The Patriots continue to have a tough time manufacturing offensive production, and things don’t appear to be getting any better anytime soon, as they struggled to put drives together versus a Chiefs defense that was underwhelming entering the contest.
Defensively, it was not one of New England’s better outings this season either, but they did play well enough overall against a Kansas City offense that is loaded with playmakers. The Patriots surrendered 17 points to Patrick Mahomes and company in the second quarter before bouncing back in the second half. This may not be the historically great defense we declared them to be earlier this season, but it is still a very good unit.
The Patriots were not able to come away with a win in Week 14. Historically, New England has been able to peak at the perfect time, so there is still a chance that they turn things around over the course of the next three weeks… but they are beginning to run out of time with the playoffs on the horizon.
Here are the top takeaways from Week 14:
Edelman seems to be the only member of the Patriots offense that is producing on a week-to-week basis. He hauled in eight of his 12 targets for 95 yards and a touchdown while also eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards for the season in Week 14.
New England’s offense may be struggling, but “The Flying Squirrel” is still managing to have the best season of his 11-year NFL career.
The veteran safety has been brilliant in coverage this season. He made a pivotal play against the Chiefs when he forced Travis Kelce to fumble late in the third quarter. Had New England won this matchup, we would be talking about this play as the turning point in the game.
Unfortunately, poor officiating and bad offense prevented that from being the case. McCourty also finished the game as the Patriots’ leading tackler.
New England’s pass-catching running back contributed in a number of ways on Sunday. He carried the ball six times for 33 yards while also catching five passes for 27 yards. That may sound like a typical Sunday for White, but he also did some additional damage with his arm by completing his sole pass attempt for a 35-yard gain to Jakobi Meyers on a halfback pass.
Although resorting to trickery is usually an indication that the Pats are not generating enough offense, it’s still fun to see.
Jones had a tough night versus the Houston Texans, and his struggles continued against the Chiefs. The speedy defensive back gave up a long passing touchdown for the second consecutive week, this time allowing Mecole Hardman to get behind him for six. He surrendered a touchdown to Kenny Stills on a similar looking deep corner route in Week 13.
The nickel corner position has become increasingly important in recent years as the NFL has adapted into a pass-first league, making Jones a key part of New England’s defense. He will have to play better in the slot moving forward.
Offensive Line (Run Game and Pass Game)
The Patriots had another lackluster game offensively, and while it would be unfair to blame one position group for their inability to consistently move the ball, the offensive line was the guiltiest party against Kansas City. Tom Brady was under duress all afternoon. He was sacked three times and hit an additional eight times.
The offensive line also had a really bad day run blocking against a Chiefs defense that entered the game as one of the worst rushing defenses in the entire NFL. New England will not last long in the playoffs if they can’t win in the trenches.
First Half Defense
While the defense played well overall in this contest, they had a tough time in the first half. Aside from a J. C. Jackson interception during the Chiefs’ first possession of the game, the Patriots did not do a great job of limiting Kansas City’s explosive offense, particularly in the second quarter.
K.C. scored 20 unanswered points in the first half and took a 13-point lead over New England. The Patriots teams of years past would laugh at that deficit, but not the 2019 Patriots, who have proven three times now that they cannot overcome being down multiple scores.