By Weston Mills (@wmills94)
If there is anything better than Victory Monday, as Andy Reid likes to call it, it is most definitely Victory Friday! The Chiefs went into Foxborough and put on an absolute show beating the Patriots 42-27. If you watched the game you know it was much closer than the score indicates. Honestly, this game could have gotten out of handle early had the Chiefs D not stuffed Mike Gillislee on 4th and 1 from the Chiefs own 10 yard line. But Allen Bailey and Bennie Logan did stuff Gillislee and the Chiefs went on to start the season with a bang and, my goodness, this game gave us some serious headlines.
Remember whenever everyone was worried because Spencer Ware tore his ACL? No disrespect to Ware but I think the Chiefs will be just fine. After fumbling his first career carry, rookie Kareem Hunt more than made up for it. Hunt went off for 246 yards from scrimmage which is the most in a rookie debut since 1970. Of the 246 yards, Hunt rushed for 148 and a touchdown while catching 5 balls for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns. There isn’t really much I can even add to this. The stat-line speaks for itself. It’s only his first game but bottom line: Kareem Hunt is good at football.
Chiefs Passing Game
Alex Smith out-dueled Tom Brady. Again, Alex Smith out-dueled Tom Brady. Smith threw for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns. His passer rating was 148.6 (158.3 is the highest possible passer rating). Aside from a slip and fall on 3rd down in the second quarter, Alex Smith played damn near flawless football. Most importantly, he was taking chances down the field. I mean don’t me wrong he wasn’t gun slinging like Aaron Rodgers but, for him, he was being fairly aggressive.
Also, there was a lot chatter coming into the season about whether or not Tyreek Hill could be a number one receiver. Again, only one game, but he looked sharp. Ty had 7 catches (on 8 targets) for 133 yards. I am certainly more impressed with 7 catches on 8 targets than I am with the 133 yards. Ty had 75 of those yards on a somewhat busted coverage (and then threw up the peace sign to the poor safety who had to try and catch him). I think the 7 catches shows that he has the ability to get open on a consistent basis. If Hill can continue to be consistent it will help Kelce find more space as it seemed like the Patriots had decided they weren’t going to let Kelce beat them. Hill’s progress as number 1 wide receiver will be interesting to watch through out the entire year.
Defensive Front 7
I mentioned in my pre-game preview that one of the most interesting story-lines was going to be how the Front 7 played and whether or not they could get pressure on Brady. In the first half, the answer was an astounding no. However, Bob Sutton frequently had the Chiefs in a 2-4-5 defense (which explains why the Pats running backs were eating us up). I am not sure exactly why they thought this was a good idea. I guess they wanted to have more athleticism on the field for pass coverage but it gave Brady all day to throw. Ultimately, it worked as Brady was 16-36 on the night. I guess that is why I am a blogger for the Dive 35 and not the Chiefs Defensive Coordinator.
This is my long way of saying, I don’t think we can fairly access the front 7 because KC will typically be running a 3-4. However, after a quiet first half, Justin Houston showed up to play. It was obvious there was a little rust for Houston but after finishing the game with 2 sacks I think its safe to say he is back! There are still a lot of question marks about what this group as whole will bring to the table.
The Dark Cloud Over the Bright Win
As big of a win Thursday night was, there may have been an even bigger loss as the news broke that Eric Berry will be out for the season with a torn achilles. The Pro-Bowl safety is one of the Chiefs best playmakers and is often referred to as the leader of the team. The Chiefs will use a combination of Eric Murray and Daniel Sorenson in Berry’s absence. Murray tends to provide a better option for pass coverage while Sorenson provides better help in the box against the run. I would also expect the Chiefs to look at some free agency help or bring up Leon McQuay from the practice squad.
Week 2: The Chiefs return to Arrowhead next Sunday to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Kickoff is set for noon.