They’re coming off a decisive win, but the Patriots face their stiffest test of the season in the Kansas City Chiefs, the lone undefeated team in the AFC. As we enter a new week for Patriots football, here are a few notes.
Checking in on the status of Tom Brady’s $1 million bonuses (for finishing the season in the top 5 of 5 categories).
Passer rating – 13th (96.1)
Completion percentage – 9th (67.6%)
Yards per attempt – 26th (7.0)
Touchdown passes – T-3rd (12)
Passing yards – 22nd (251.8)
For reference, in 2017:
• His passer rating would be 9th in the league
• His completion percentage would be tied for 2nd
• His yards per attempt would be tied for 17th
• His projected TD total of 38 (based on current pace) would be 1st
• His yards per game would be 12th
Making the grade?
Patriots starters and impact players and their Pro Football Focus positional rank.
QB – Tom Brady, 11th
WR – Chris Hogan, 96th
WR – Phillip Dorsett, 55th
WR – Cordarrelle Patterson, 52nd
WR – Josh Gordon, 33rd
RB – James White, 22nd
RB – Sony Michel, 37th
TE – Rob Gronkowski, 6th
TE – Dwayne Allen, 43rd
LT – Trent Brown, 44th
LG – Joe Thuney, 14th
C – David Andrews, 9th
RG – Shaq Mason, 10th
RT – Marcus Cannon, 46th
(Julian Edelman is unranked due to his small sample size)
DT – Malcom Brown, 92nd
DT – Lawrence Guy, 6th
DT – Adam Butler, 86th
DT – Danny Shelton, 44th
EDGE – Trey Flowers, 4th
EDGE – Deatrich Wise, 69th
EDGE – Adrian Clayborn, 25th
LB – Kyle Van Noy, 38th
LB – Donta Hightower, 36th
LB – Elandon Roberts, 49th
CB – Stephon Gilmore, 10th
CB – Jonathan Jones, 27th
CB – Jason McCourty, 3rd *
S – Devin McCourty, 17th
S – Patrick Chung, 43rd
S – Duron Harmon, 59th
Patriots players are currently on pace for the following stats for a 16-game season.
(Julian Edelman is not included due to his small sample size)
387 for 573 (67.6%), 4,029 yards, 38 TD (6.7%), 19 INT (3.4%), 96.1 passer rating
• Brady is on pace for two more completions on five fewer attempts than 2017.
• Brady is on pace for his highest completion percentage since the 2007 season.
• Brady’s yardage would be his lowest output since 2010 when he passed for 3,900 yards.
• Brady’s 38 touchdowns would be third most in his career, as would his touchdown percentage.
• Brady’s 19 interceptions would be by far a career high, as would his interception percentage.
74 catches, 986 yards, 3 TD
• Gronk gets 1.1 million incentives for 70+ catches, 1,085 receiving yards, 9+ touchdowns, 80% playing time. He is on pace to achieve two of those – catches and playing time (89.22%).
• Seventy-four catches would be the third most of Gronk’s career.
• Three touchdowns would be tied for his lowest output.
102 catches, 864 yards, 13 TD; 74 carries, 352 yards, 3 TD
• The catches, yardage, and touchdowns would all destroy the previous receiving records for Patriots running backs – 77 catches and 684 yards by Tony Collins in 1986, 7 touchdowns by Larry Garron in 1964. These lofty numbers probably won’t play out, but White would still stand a chance of breaking them all, given the state of the Patriots’ running back depth chart.
• The 1,216 yards from scrimmage would be 17th among Patriots running backs all time.
• The 352 yards would be White’s lowest output on the ground since he became a regular contributor to the offense in 2015.
214 carries, 941 yards, 6 TD; 10 catches, 58 yards
• With 941 rush yards, Michel’s season would rank 5th among Patriots rookie running backs, passing Tony Collins and sitting only behind Leonard Russell, Robert Edwards, John Stephens, and Curtis Martin.
• Six touchdowns would be tied for 4th in rushing scores by a Patriots rookie running back, tied with Laurence Marroney and behind Tony Collins, Robert Edwards, and Curtis Martin.
61 catches, 608 yards, 6 TD
• The catches, yardage, and touchdowns would all be career-highs.
32 catches, 323 yards, 6 TD
• The six touchdowns would be the most of his career. The catches and yardage would be about on par with what he produced last season in Oakland.
35 catches, 458 yards, 6 TD
• While observed as a down year for Hogan, he’s on pace to be right around where he has been his entire career statistics-wise. He wasn’t able to rise to the occasion as a more prominent member of the offense, but still has big-play ability that can be exploited now that he’s not trying to operate in the slot.
16 catches, 317 yards, 6 TD
• Limited sample size to work with, but given his usage thus far, seems fair.
• Gordon had 4 touchdowns since 2014 before being traded to the Patriots (11 games). He has 1 through two games with the Patriots.
Sizing up the competition
• Tom Brady’s weekly passer rating and the opponents’ total passer rating against for the season:
Week 1 vs. Houston: 102.2; Houston’s season: 115.3
Week 2 at Jacksonville: 106.1; Jacksonville’s season: 81.2
Week 3 at Detroit: 65.1; Detroit’s season: 104.2
Week 4 vs. Miami: 94.2; Miami’s season: 72.2
Week 5 vs. Indianapolis: 102.6; Indianapolis’ season: 97.0
Kansas City is allowing an opponents’ passer rating of 88.3.
• Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the league in touchdown passes (14th), is second in touchdown percentage, is tied for fifth in interception percentage and yards per attempt, and ranks fifth in passer rating. The Patriots are tied for third in most passing touchdowns allowed and rank 21st in defensive touchdown percentage but are third in yards allowed per attempt, eighth in interception percentage, and 10th in passer rating allowed.
• Kareem Hunt is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards and tied for sixth with four touchdowns. The Patriots have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards to running backs this season, but have yielded just one rushing touchdown through five games.
• The Chiefs have allowed a league-leading 454 receiving yards and the second-most receptions and touchdowns to running backs. James White is third in the league in receiving yards by a running back and first in touchdowns. How the matchup plays out will be interesting.
• Travis Kelce is second in the league in receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end. He is also tied for first among tight ends in plays of more than 20 yards. New England has allowed four touchdowns to tight ends, which is tied for the most in the league but has given up just 286 yards, which is middle of the road. Three of those touchdowns and 149 of those yards came against the Colts last week. Before that, the Patriots had allowed 137 yards and one touchdown to tight ends through four games. Which defense will show up against Kelce?
• Conversely, Kansas City’s defense has allowed a league-high 453 yards to opposing tight ends, but just one touchdown. Jesse James roasted them for 138 yards and a touchdown and George Kittle had 79 yards. Broncos backups Jeff Heuerman and Matt LaCoste accounted for 74 yards.