Our friends at ProFootballFocus.com were kind enough to share their amazingly quick stats from last night's game. Make sure you check out their PFF Edge and PFF Elite products to give you insight, and an edge with your fantasy team. The PFF guys really know the game, so make sure you follow them at @PFF.
Week 1 Patriots Offensive Stats:
- RB Dion Lewis played just six snaps on offense against the Chiefs, the fewest in a single game since he has joined the Patriots; his previous low was 12 snaps in last season’s Super Bowl. Lewis, however, forced one missed tackle and averaged 3.5 yards after contact on his two carries.
- QB Tom Brady attempted 10 deep passes (attempts traveling 20+ yards in the air) yesterday night and completed just two of them (20.0 percent). As a comparison, Brady attempted 49 such attempts in all of last year’s regular season and was accurate on 51.0 percent of them (23 completions and 2 drops).
- Brady had to hold on to the football longer against Kansas City as he averaged 2.94 seconds per attempt compared to 2.39 seconds in the 16 games of the regular season in 2016. Furthermore, while Brady’s passer rating was 90.3 when he attempted a pass in 2.5 seconds or less yesterday, the figure dropped to 54.9 when he held on to the ball longer than that. New England’s quarterback had the second highest passer rating on attempts after 2.5 seconds last season with 112.0.
- OT Marcus Cannon had a rough night against the Chiefs as he gave up four pressures, including two sacks, on 40 pass blocking snaps. Cannon surrendered a total of two sacks on 549 pass blocking snaps in last year’s regular season and did not allow a single one after giving up two in the season opener against Arizona.
- While Dion Lewis broke a tackle on one of his two carries, the other New England running backs failed to do so as Mike Gillislee, James White and Rex Burkhead did not force a single missed tackle on their 28 combined carries.
Week 1 Patriots Defensive Stats:
- While he gave up two of the four passing touchdowns allowed by the Patriots defense, safety Devin McCourty earned the highest PFF grade on the unit with 83.9 as he tied a career-high with four defensive stops on the night. However, although McCourty played 71.9 percent of his snaps as a free safety last season, he lined up there on only 15 of his 69 snaps (21.7 percent) yesterday night. As a matter of fact, the Patriots defender played more snaps at linebacker (22) than at his original position.
- Cornerback Malcolm Butler had a mixed outing as he gave up four completions on four targets – and committed a defensive pass interference penalty on the fifth. However, neither reception went for more than 18 yards as Butler allowed 31 receiving yards on the four catches against Kansas City.
- Just as it was expected, edge defender Trey Flowers led the Patriots’ pass rush as he picked up a total of seven pressures – including two sacks. The rest of the defense recorded a total of six pressures combined, including two pressures each by rookie defensive linemen Deatrich Wise (one sack and one hit) and Adam Butler (two hurries).
- Similarly to last season, the Patriots took a conservative approach to blitzing their opponent on Thursday night. While the league average to blitz was 30.1 percent in 2016, New England blitzed on 24.6 percent of passing plays last season and blitzed on 10 of 40 (25.0 percent) passing plays against Kansas City.
- New England continued to utilize a fair share of three-man rushes against Kansas City as their rushed the passer with only three defenders on 12 plays and averaged 10.6 such plays per game last season. However, this approach led to positive results as the Patriots generated pressure on five of these plays (41.7), while they were able to get to the quarterback on only 25.0 percent (7/28) of plays when rushing four or more defenders.