KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Everything Monday night went right for the Chiefs en route to a dominating 41-14 win over the New England Patriots.
The Chiefs offense clicked to the tune of 443 total yard and 26 first downs, while the defense held the Patriots to 290 total yards and 13 first downs.
Even more impressive for the 443 total yards of offense was 303 yards came in the first half when the Chiefs established the tempo against the overmatched Patriots.
And the credit belongs to coach Andy Reid.
“The momentum swings when he gets into his groove,” wide receiver Dwayne Bowe said, “it shows in the playmakers when he puts us in good position to make plays.”
Bowe was one of three playmakers to get it going early in the first quarter. He caught three passes for 39 yards against cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is widely regarded as one of the NFL’s elite shutdown defenders.
The Chiefs also featured a heavy dose of running back Jamaal Charles, who totaled 63 yards (58 rushing) and two touchdowns in the first half.
Second-year tight end Travis Kelce was the third player to get involved, hauling in six catches for 75 yards on seven targets.
“We tried to spread it around as much as possible,” Reid said. “We got Donnie (Avery) a couple, too. I think against that defense I think that’s important that you try to get as many different receivers into the mix and we were able to do that. We had some tight formations and some spread out formations that we used.”
The strategy worked.
With quarterback Alex Smith picking apart the Patriots secondary to the tune of completing 20-of-26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns, Bowe finished the game with five catches for 81 yards on six targets.
Charles recorded 108 total yards (92 rushing) on the game, and Kelce finished with 93 yards receiving and eight catches on nine targets.
“He puts us in the best spot,” Charles said of Reid, “the best situation to help the team, putting playmakers in spots to make plays.”
Meanwhile, the Chiefs defense, which entered the game with no turnovers on the season, ended up with three.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali jump started the turnover fest when he recorded a strip-sack on Brady. Cornerback Sean Smith then recorded an interception off Brady, and free safety Husain Abdullah capped off the night with a pick-6 off Brady.
“That’s what we needed,” defensive tackle Dontari Poe said. “We’ve been preaching it all week, ‘turnovers, turnovers.’ Not only that but try to score on defense and we did it today so it was a good day.”
The defense controlled the Patriots offense, no simple task considering the quarterback.
“I think it was a team effort,” outside linebacker Justin Houston said. “Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, but when you got guys doing a great job downfield, then everybody putting pressure on the quarterback, everybody on the same page it’s easy to do.”
Houston finished the night with two sacks, one on Brady and the other on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Brady completed 14-of-23 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown against the two interceptions and lost fumble. He finished with a 59.9 quarterback rating.
The Chiefs move to 2-2 on the season after starting 0-2, and have scored 75 total points in the past two games after scoring 27 total points in the losses.
The Chiefs featured a goal line package from the 2-yard line late in the fourth quarter with defensive tackle Dontari Poe at fullback.
Quarterback Alex Smith faked the handoff to the running back before finding tight end Travis Kelce for a touchdown pass.
Still, seeing Poe on offense proved intriguing and potentially opens the door to see more of him in certain offensive situation.
And the third-year pro relishes that opportunity.
“Every d-lineman dreams of a touchdown,” Poe said. “So I hope I get it soon.”
CHARLES IN THE GROOVE
Running back Jamaal Charles said he felt good on the field, but admitted following the game his ankle was sore.
“I’m ready to get off of it and go ice it up,” he said. “We’ve got a short week, so I have to hurry up and get back rehabbing and come back Sunday and do it all over again.”
Charles said he was surprised at his workload where he had 21 total touches (18 rushes) coming off a high ankle sprain. He even briefly left the game for an IV before returning.
But the Chiefs coaching staff kept a close eye on him.
“Coach (Reid) said he was going to watch out for me and see how I felt going throughout the game,” Charles said. “I started feeling more like myself so he didn’t want to take me out. I felt pretty good out there.”
Opponents may have to get used to seeing both Chiefs running backs on the field, as Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis combined for 192 yards rushing on 34 attempts.
Davis had a 48-yard run, and Charles was thrilled to see his teammate remain involved.
“We knew before the game that I was going to get some reps and Knile was going to get some reps,” Charles said. “Knile is starting to believe in himself and is starting to get comfortable. I’m happy for him that he’s really finding his way in this game.”
Davis finished with 107 yards rushing on 16 carries, marking his second straight game with more than 100 yards rushing.
The Chiefs as a team totaled 207 yards rushing on 38 attempts.
Tight end Travis Kelce may want the media narrative changed soon.
Kelce returns from microfracture knee surgery, and has shown since training camp he’s more than fine and healthy.
Yet, the second-year pro continues to address questions about his confidence in his surgically repaired knee.
That should change soon if his exchange with a reporter in the postgame locker room provided a good indication.
“If you can’t tell I’m out there playing with confidence,” Kelce said, “then I don’t know what’s wrong with you because I’m out there having a blast. That’s for sure.”
The Chiefs are off Tuesday, but return to a normal week of practices starting Wednesday before traveling Saturday to San Francisco for Week 5’s matchup against the 49ers.
The game airs at 3:25 p.m. CT on CBS.