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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Steelers star has the least surprising take on Tom Brady's free agency

Steelers star has the least surprising take on Tom Brady's free agency

Ask anyone associated with the New England Patriots, and they'll tell you Tom Brady should stay put.

Ask any Patriots opponent, and they'll tell you Brady should leave -- and never come back.

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak & Bertrand" from Radio Row in Miami on Wednesday and was asked where he thinks Brady may sign in free agency this offseason.

His answer shouldn't surprise you.

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"I hope not with New England anymore," Heyward said. " ... Let the NFC deal with him for a while. That'd be nice. He's terrorized the AFC enough."

Heyward would know. Brady's Patriots trounced his Steelers 33-3 in Week 1 of the 2019 season and have beaten Pittsburgh in six of their last seven meetings, including playoffs.

New England also has reached the Super Bowl in four of the previous six seasons and made the AFC Championship Game in eight of the last nine seasons, annually crushing the postseason dreams of AFC rivals like the Steelers, who won 10 or more games in four straight seasons from 2014 to 2017 but never reached the Super Bowl in that span.

So, you can see why Heyward (and Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu) would appreciate Brady getting out of his hair.

Unfortunately for the AFC, that doesn't look likely: The Patriots are the odds-on favorite to re-sign the 42-year-old QB in free agency, followed by three AFC teams: the Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans.

But Heyward still appreciates Brady's greatness, even if the 20-year veteran doesn't grant his wish.

"I think he understands the game at a different level," Heyward said of Brady. He knows when to hit you with pace. He knows when to make you feel uncomfortable, and he's gonna exploit you."

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Roger Goodell gives latest update on Patriots videotaping investigation

Roger Goodell gives latest update on Patriots videotaping investigation

The NFL's investigation of the New England Patriots remains ongoing.

The league launched an investigation into the Patriots in December after they videotaped the Bengals' sideline during Cincinnati's Week 14 road game against the Browns in Cleveland.

League commissioner Roger Goodell was asked Wednesday at his Super Bowl LIV press conference in Miami for a status on the process and why it's taken so long. Goodell provided a brief update and pushed back on the notion that it's taken too long for the investigation to complete (H/T to ESPN's Mike Reiss for transcribing).

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Question: On the videotaping incident with the Bengals, what is the status of the investigation? When do you expect it to be complete? Why is it taking so long? You have the video, the Patriots admitted wrongdoing, shouldn't it be relatively open and shut?

Goodell: "The answer to that (last) question is 'No.' It shouldn't, because our responsibility is to make sure we're being extremely thorough. We have a responsibility to 31 other clubs, we have a responsibility to partners, we have a responsibility to fans to understand all of what happened, and make sure that something that we don't know happened didn't happen. 

"And so, from our standpoint, we want to make sure we're being thorough. Our team has been on it. We have been focused on this. I think it has not been that lengthy of time. We have obviously put the focus on it, but we're going to get it right. When we come to a conclusion, we'll certainly make sure people are aware of it."

The Patriots issued a statement after the incident occurred that said the video crew was sent to Cleveland to collect footage for a team website series titled "Do Your Job." New England admitted the video crew "inappropriately filmed the field" from its spot in the Cleveland press box.

Part of the footage captured by the video crew was shown exclusively on FOX Sports' NFL pregame show on Dec. 15 before the Patriots beat the Bengals 34-13 to clinch a playoff spot.

There is still no timetable for when the investigation will be completed. Goodell did not provide one Wednesday, so it looks like this matter won't be resolved until some time in the offseason.

Curran: Shanahan addresses the 28-3 collapse, adding Jimmy G