The rather predictable playoff clash between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs gave birth to a few memes: The Alex Smith face making fun of him and his team, Andy Reid and his terrible, slow play calling, Tom Brady being the master of the universe and Bill Belichick picking his nose.
The Chiefs came to Foxboro and played their usual game. Turns out that against good NFL teams with a fantastic offense, it’s not enough. Smith doesn’t have receivers to throw to and the defense that terrorized so many quarterbacks for 11 straight games wasn’t having its usual effect against Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the rest. The Patriots gave up on running the ball a long time ago. With their passing game being so good, they don’t need it.
And yet, the game did end up with just a 7 point win for the Patriots. It probably wasn’t as close, with the Chiefs failing to score a touchdown in the first half, but they did have stops and opportunities to do more. Andy Reid taking his time with the final drive, leaving his team not time to get the ball back after making it a one possession game, was just one part of his weird playcalling that didn’t cost the Chiefs the game, but didn’t really help them.
And while the Patriots weren’t perfect, with some bad throws from Brady, a lot of dropped passes by everyone and some gaping holes on defense to turn through, they looked one class above the Chiefs. Similar to how they’ve looked most of this season until the final six weeks. It’s this kind of form that wins Super Bowls, and hopefully for them, they’re not going to lose it again.