Gresh’s Grades: Patriots v. Kansas City – 10/14/2018

By Andy Gresh, WPRO

What a football game!! If you like offense, this one was for you. Even though the 4th quarter didn’t go as expected, the poise this team played with was impressive. There wasn’t one ounce of panic, shouting, or loss of control. (Except for the dope who threw beer on Tyreek Hill)

QUARTERBACK–B

His fumble late 3rd quarter was a massive swing in this game, and ironic because it came after an NBC bum smooching piece on Brady’s mechanics. Brady knows better than to have the football in one hand, away from his body like that. If that didn’t happen, TB12 would’ve gotten a solid A. He was a maestro with moving pieces around the chess board and getting the offense in the right running play. And the final drive was magnificent as if Brady had done it over 40 times before.

RUNNING BACKS–A+

In this space and on the radio you’ve read/heard me rave about Sony Michel. His skills were on full display Sunday night. Just wait till he starts catching the ball to go with his tough running on 3rd and short and in goal line situations. James White dominated in the flats in the pass game, and was slippery in the run game. James Develin was devastating in the run game.

WIDE RECEIVERS–A

Pretty sure handed all night. No easy drops, they just didn’t convert some TOUGH catches. Gordon is coming along and fights for yards once he secures the ball. Hogan made some catches where he knew he’d get hit and didn’t turtle on contact. Edelman knows how to get open. However, teams are hip to the short routes in his game and those need to evolve.

TIGHT ENDS–A+

Gronk did so many other things well than catch the ball. If he doesn’t run block all throughout the game, he never gets as wide open as he does on those play actions in the 4th quarter. I thought Gronk and Dwayne Allen did a great job run blocking. And I’m not going to waste time on writing about Gronk the pass catcher. He’s elite.

OFFENSIVE LINE–A

I thought Brady was protected very well. No run throughs or free rushers. The Patriots did what I thought they would do in the running game. The Chiefs defensive line is softer than grandma’s belly. It’s potentially a fatal flaw for KC. This is the best game this the O-Line has played all season. I love their push at the line of scrimmage, but more importantly, the WANTING to run the ball.

DEFENSIVE LINE–B

I was a little surprised that 4 DL/DE’s were inactive for this game. There weren’t many 3-down looks with big bodies in this one. I thought the defensive front handled the Chiefs running game pretty well, and they moved Mahomes off the spot. I thought the scheme was good as the coaches mixed up the rush looks and twists to keep Mahomes from having gaps to escape the pocket.

LINEBACKERS–B+

TV did a good job of highlighting how Dont’a Hightower was physical every chance he had against Travis Kelce. Hightower baited Mahomes into the bad throw for the interception that the offense turned into points. He was also a big part of the red zone success. Van Noy and Roberts played well, but 54 stood out and reminded us why he was the guy at this position the Patriots decided to pay long term.

DEFENSIVE BACKS–B

I knew these back end guys wouldn’t be perfect all game long against that speed. What I can’t accept is miscommunication, and that what happened when KC tied the game. Harmon, again out of position. The McCourty’s got beat at times but overall held up well against those insane quicks of the Chiefs WR’s. I also thought the tackling was good. This isn’t a fast group of guys, but overall they play well as a unit. Most of the time.

SPECIAL TEAMS–C

I’m torn. Ryan Allen didn’t punt. Gostkowski was true on all his kicks. However, the kickoff team gave up lots of field position and almost a score in the 4th quarter. For some reason Gostkowski’s kicks weren’t booming out of the end zone. What kicks the pats did return showed nothing spectacular. I think with more 5, 6 and sometimes 7 defensive backs in the game playing defense, that it’s hurt the special team coverage units.

3 THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1) Expect the Patriots to borrow some offensive concepts from Miami after their 2nd half offensive explosion against the Bears.

2) Miami also held Khalil Mack to 2 tackles and no sacks, if Miami can do it so can the Pats.

3) Expect more play action’s that try to get Josh Gordon downfield.

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