As originally published here.
The Kansas City Chiefs jumped to a 3-0 lead, late in the first quarter on a Ryan Succop 26-yard field goal, but unfortunately, that would be the last time they scored as the Patriots poured it on to rout the Chiefs, 34-3 on Monday night at Foxboro.
One positive aspect the Chiefs can have is that they held the Patriots to zero points in their first four drives going into the second quarter. They played smash-mouth football for nine drives with the Patriots giving up the field goal before they finally responded with 7:36 left the second quarter, engineering a 6-play 85 yard drive for a touchdown.
The Chiefs responded turning the ball over when quarterback Tyler Palko threw the ball deep resulting in an interception to cornerback Kyle Arrington, who ran it back to the Patriot 46. The Patriots wrapped up their final drive in the half going 43 yards to the Kansas City 3 where Stephen Gostkowski capped off the drive with a 21-yard field goal. The Patriots never looked back.
Quarterback Tom Brady completed 15 of 27 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski caught the 52-yard “go-ahead” score to put the Patriots up 7-3 in the second quarter and a 19-yarder to finish their initial second-half drive. He finished the day with 4 receptions for 96 yards. BenJarvis Green-Ellis complemented the passing attack providing 81 yards on 20 carries. Receiver Julian Edelman also contributed to a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Palko, in relief of IR-bound Matt Cassel, completed 25 of 38 passes for 236 yards and 3 interceptions. Arrington was the beneficiary of two of the interceptions. Cornerback Philip Adams caught the third one.
Most Telling Stat/Fact
Brady is on pace along with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans Drew Brees to try to overtake Dan Marino’s 5,084 yard single-season record. Brady’s thrown for 3032 yards so far this season with 6 more games to play. He’ll need to average over 342 yards a game to overtake that record, which may not be such an uphill battle given the soft schedule playing the likes of the struggling Eagles, Redskins, Colts before closing out the season with Miami and Buffalo at home.
What it means for the Patriots
The Patriots have a two-game spot over the Jets and the Bills. The division is the Patriots to lose. Anything can happen in the NFL, but with two wins over the Jets and a Bills team losing its offensive identity, the Patriots can look ahead to try to clinch a bye in a stacked AFC. The Patriots will travel to Philadelphia to face the potentially Vick-less Eagles, who are coming off a 17-10 victory against division rival New York Giants.
What it means for the Chiefs
It doesn’t get any easier for the Chiefs in a very competitive and mediocre AFC West. While they’re very much alive in the divisional hunt with the Oakland Raiders up two games, the next two games on their schedule are against likely playoff-bound teams in Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears. The following week they face a New York Jet team fighting for their playoff lives and a steamrolling Green Bay Packer team afterwards before wrapping up the season against the Raiders and the Broncos.
While Cassel wasn’t exactly a pillar of stability this season, the pressure now falls on second-year man Palko who will have to show much more against the Steelers than he did against the Patriots. With injuries mounting and a tough remaining schedule, the season might have gotten longer for coach Todd Haley.