Thursday, October 08, 2020

Chiefs' Second-Half Defense Proves Vital in 26-10 Win Over Patriots


Joe Andrews

Oct 5, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ben Niemann (56) celebrates after recovering a fumble by New England Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Kansas City.

Charlie Riedel


After a low-scoring first half, the Kansas City Chiefs found themselves in the midst of a relatively quiet game with the New England Patriots. 

Then, the Patriots’ offense and Chiefs’ defense found themselves in a battle for superiority. At first, it seemed a Brian Hoyer led offense was gaining traction. Then Chiefs defensive end Taco Charlton sacked Hoyer, forcing the ball out of his hands.

Linebacker Ben Niemann recovered, launching a string of events that led to a 26-10 win over the Patriots on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium — a day after the game was originally supposed to be held.

“It’s different,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “We were expecting different this year, though. We had to put it together and do it.”

Upon the positive COVID-19 test of practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, the Chiefs were sent home from team facilities on Saturday as part of NFL protocol. 

Coaches were allowed back on Sunday, but players did not step foot to One Arrowhead Drive until pregame.

The precautionary matters set the Chiefs back, as showed early in the first half. The Chiefs led 6-3 at halftime and did not score a touchdown until the final minute of the third quarter.

“There’s no excuse to it, we had a game plan together," Reid said. "It was just one little obstacle that was in there. They had an obstacle, they had to fly in today. That’s not an easy thing, plus no quarterback. They were using backup quarterbacks. It's good experience for those guys, but it is what it was.”

The score, a 6-yard shovel pass from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill, capped off a drive started by Charlton’s sack turned Niemann recovery.

Charlton’s efforts led to the benching of Hoyer, who was replaced by Jarrett Stidham.

“Taco’s made some big plays for us,” Reid said. “That was one of them for sure. It’s great for his career going forward, that’s a positive thing for him. He’s all in for right now and enjoys being here.

Stidham led the Patriots downfield for his first career touchdown pass but proceeded to throw two interceptions (one to safety Tyrann Mathieu, resulting in a touchdown, the other to cornerback Rashad Fenton).

For Reid, the two moments overshadowed the low moments from the first half.

“The four turnovers ended up being big for us — 14 points off of that,” Reid said. “I can go through and name individuals, but I think collectively as a team we can do better than we did. It’s a win int eh national football league and these son-of-a-guns are hard to get. I’ve been on the other end of this where another quarterback comes in and we don’t win the game.  

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