A. Julian Edelman in the Hall of Fame. Might sound like a crazy thought, but Edelman from his first playoff game to his most recent playoff game has been an unstoppable force. If Edelman does not get hurt in 2015, there might be another banner hanging in Foxboro. Edelman was quiet until the Pats final drive of the fourth quarter. To that point, he had four catches for 41 yards. On the Pats final two drives he had three catches for 55 yards. What was most impressive were the hits that Edelman took to hang onto the ball. He is as tough as they come.
B. The Chiefs held Rob Gronkowski in check for much of the day. Until the Pats final drive in the fourth quarter, Gronk had only four catches for 39 yards. On the Pats two final drives, he had two catches for 40 yards. Eric Berry had good coverage on Gronkowski, but Gronk just made great plays. He was worth having this year alone just for those two last drives.
C. All this talk about great game plans would be bunk if not for Dee Ford’s bonehead offsides penalty in the fourth quarter. Chiefs had the game won. Stories would have been written about how Gronk was done after the ball went off his hands and was intercepted. Gronk, though, had another good day blocking.
D. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton is often much maligned, but he did a nice job of getting more players in the box to stop the run in the second half.
E. A lot will be said about the performance of the Pats offensive line, which did not allow a sack or have a single penalty. However, the Pats wanted to get the ball out quickly to neutralize the Chiefs pass rush.
F. Lost in a crazy game was the great third down catch James White made on the Pats final drive of the first half. The Pats seemed content to run out the clock. In fact, if the Chiefs did not call a timeout on the third down play the Pats would have run out the clock. The Chiefs wanted to get the ball back with time if they stopped the Pats.
After the catch, White caught a screen pass for 30 yards. Then had another 9-yard run. On the next play, Tom Brady hit Phillip Dorsett for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Pats Maven will volunteer his time to help a James White Statue in Boston become a reality. He is the player any coach would want to have on their team. When writing a feature about White earlier this year, Ivan Fears told Pats Maven he is a “great kid. His parents did a great job with him.”
G. Pats fans, justifiably so, will complain about the two penalties on J.C. Jackson on the touchdown drive that gave the Chiefs a 28-24 lead. The roughing the passer penalty, however, on Chiefs DL Chris Jones in the fourth quarter was as bad as it gets. Jones never touched Brady’s helmet and it was clear the official made the call based on Brady’s movement. Bad officiating.
H. Most impressive on the Chiefs defense was Daniel Sorensen. He finished with 14 tackles, one interception and one pass defensed. Sorensen is a play-maker.
I. Still a baffling decision by Josh McDaniels to throw the ball at the Chiefs 1-yard-line in the first half. Brady tried to force the ball to Gronkowski and Reggie Ragland intercepted the pass. It explains why the Pats ran Rex Burkhead on the final two plays in overtime to get in the end zone. Good job by the Pats coaches to stick with Burkhead after he didn’t make it on the fourth and one in the second half.
J. Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins likely had his best game of the season. Switching Stephon Gilmore on Travis Kelce in the fourth quarter was interesting. Gilmore had been covering Watkins. The Chiefs still scored 17 points after the switch was made. Not sure it had a great impact.