Chiefs vs Patriots : The New England Patriots find themselves in an AFC Championship Game. This time they’re on the road,The New England Patriots couldn’t have asked for a better start in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. After receiving the opening kickoff at Arrowhead Stadiu…
After receiving the opening kickoff at Arrowhead Stadium, the Patriots’ offense quickly went to work against the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs. Tom Brady and Co. put together an impressive 15-play, 80-yard drive that concluded with a rushing touchdown from Sony Michel, who ran for three scores in the divisional round against the Los Angeles Chargers.
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The Chiefs’ defense, after failing a series of tests to start the game, came up huge on 3rd-and-goal, with Reggie Ragland intercepting Tom Brady’s pass attempt to Rob Gronkowski, thus stealing some momentum back for Kansas City.
Up until that point, the Patriots had seemingly been doing anything they wanted, using runs and short passes to expose a front-seven that is good at rushing the passer but far worse at putting up with the quick hits that the Patriots can accomplish with their small wide receivers and their talented group of running backs.In all, the drive went 43 yards on 11 plays, but the Chiefs were able to escape, still trailing by 7-0.
New England had gotten the ball back quickly thanks to a fairly inept first drive by the Chiefs’ offense in which Kansas City generated minus-6 yards as a result of a sack of Patrick Mahomes that came after he had his first two pass attempts of the game fall incomplete. The only positive movement of the drive for the Chiefs came thanks to a 5-yard run by Damien Williams — which he followed with a 2-yard loss — and a 5-yard penalty by the Patriots’ defense.
It was clear coming in that this game would be a tough test for the Chiefs’ defense, and the unit looked almost helpless on an opening drive by the Patriots in which New England marched 80 yards on 15 plays, punching the ball into the end zone on a 1-yard run by Sony Michel.
The seemingly endless drive chewed up 8 minutes 5 seconds of the first quarter and has Kansas City on its heels.The Patriots got off to a quick start on an 11-yard run by Michel, and proceeded down the field through a combination of short passes — Rob Gronkowski had two catches on the drive after having just one all game last week — and runs by their three-headed monster at running back (Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead).
Mahomes is in his first year as a starting quarterback and is playing in just his second playoff game. Tom Brady, on the other hand, has been a starter for 18 years and is playing in his 39th playoff game. When Brady beat the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, Mahomes was only 6 years old.Both teams have effective running games but not necessarily from the players they expected coming into the year. Kansas City has been powered by the surprise emergence of Damien Williams. New England continues to employ a variety of options at running back, but the group is led by the rookie Sony Michel who has picked up right where he left off in a celebrated career at Georgia.