Patriots

Patriots' defense creates its own kind of masterpiece against Chiefs

Patriots' defense creates its own kind of masterpiece against Chiefs

KANSAS CITY -- Does the Patriots defensive game plan against the Chiefs still rank as brilliant even after Kansas City hung 31 points on them in one half?

Im going with yes. The plan, which featured man-to-man, liberal pressure, double-teaming of Tyreek Hill and corners assigned to Travis Kelce, held the Chiefs back long enough for the Patriots to get the drop on them in the first 30 minutes. 

As with Bill Belichick’s game plans from the 1990 and 2001 Super Bowls, there came a point where the defense was solved and the gig was up. But the time bought by forcing a high-flying offense to crack the code was the difference. 

“They challenged us,” said Patrick Mahones. “They came up and played man. Not a lot of teams have this year. They put people in our face to see how we responded. The first half, we struggled. We couldn’t make anything happen. The second half, I feel like our guys took the challenge and they (Patriots) were doing the same things and we were just winning. You have to find ways to win one-on-one matchups and we found ways in the second half.”

Hill, who had (check stats) 12 catches for 266 yards and four touchdowns against the Patriots in two games was held to one 42-yard catch. 

“They doubled him on like 95 percent of the plays,” said Mahomes. “He made the one play with the deep one. Guys have to step up and I thought guys did. We put points on the board, we found ways to move the ball whenever we needed to. That just comes with how we played all season. Whoever gets their opportunity, they’re out there making plays.”

Because of the Chiefs second-half explosion, this game won’t hang in Belichick’s coaching Louvre, but it was a masterpiece in its own right.

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Report: Patriots have had discussions with Vikings about Kyle Rudolph

Report: Patriots have had discussions with Vikings about Kyle Rudolph

As OTA's begin and we draw closer to mandatory minicamp, the Patriots have reportedly had discussions with the Vikings about a trade for tight end Kyle Rudolph. 

Rudolph is entering the final year of his contract with Minnesota and is due $7.625 million. He is unwilling to take a pay cut, so the Patriots would have to create space to execute a trade. The two-time Pro Bowl tight end caught 64 passes for 634 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. 

Since Rob Gronkowski's retirement, the Patriots have signed Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Benjamin Watson to one-year contracts. They also signed Matt LaCosse to add depth to the position before Gronkowski retired. 

However, Rudolph is proven to be a far more productive tight end than all three of the players the Patriots brought in to replace Gronkowski. If the price tag for him is as low as Girardi suggests, Bill Belichick might want to think about creating cap space for Rudolph. Restructuring Tom Brady's $27 million cap figure could be a way to make the necessary space. 

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WATCH: First look at Patriots OTA's and new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo

WATCH: First look at Patriots OTA's and new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo

Monday marked the first day of Patriots OTA's, and the team's Twitter account posted a first look at players going through some drills along with new linebackers coach Jerod Mayo getting his first taste of NFL coaching experience. 

Mayo was brought on to Bill Belichick's staff in March after the position was vacated by now Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. Mayo spent all eight seasons of his playing career as a linebacker for the Patriots, earning two Pro-Bowl selections, a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2010 and the 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

He was also a member of the Super Bowl 49-winning Patriots, who defeated the defending champion Seattle Seahawks thanks to an interception by Malcolm Butler in the closing moments of the game.

Mayo and the Patriots defense have a lot to live up to after a dominant performance against the Rams in Super Bowl 53. They will use the time in OTA's to get acclimated before mandatory minicamp starts on June 4. 

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