Kansas City has outscored its opponents a combined 59-9 in the first quarter in five games this season while being slightly outscored or breaking even on the scoreboard in the other three quarters.
New England, on the other hand, has been outscored 20-17 in the first quarter through five games.
There is no doubt that getting off to a fast start could be a key factor in Sunday night’s battle between the undefeated Chiefs and Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
That was the first topic Tom Brady was asked about in his Friday afternoon press conference with the New England media and he acknowledged the importance of starting fast in this critical AFC affair.
“It’s pretty important,” Brady said. “I think we’ve always talked about starting fast. I think they have a pretty good advantage in the first quarter of these games. They are getting ahead of all these teams and playing from ahead. And that’s obviously where we want to play. But it’s tough to do. I think fast starts, we’ve seen this year when we start fast the games have ended well. And when we haven’t, when you get behind, it makes it really tough. So going against a team that’s 5-0 there’s really no margin of error. We’re going to have to do a great job possessing the ball and try to score as many points as we can.”
Beyond the need for a fast start and to score as many points as possible, here are some of the other key takeaways from Brady’s weekly press conference in Foxborough.
Using the extra time to prepare: Thanks to playing on Thursday night football last week, that short week leading up to the win over the Colts left a long week to prepare for the Sunday night battle with the Chiefs. Brady made it clear that he thinks the team has done a good job putting the extra prep time to good use.
“Good,” Brady responded when asked how beneficial the extra time was this week. “Any time you can take advantage of it, whether it’s rest or extra practice, both those are important as we kind of go through the season. We have four preseason games, five regular season games. It’s a good stretch. Then had a few extra days on the weekend to kind of think about where we’re at and an extra day of practice this week. Trying to use it all. Like I said, it’s all for one reason, to try to win a game. And it’s going to be a very competitive game.”
Shooting the Brees: After coyly responding, “That’s personal,” when asked if he’d reached out to Drew Brees following the Saints quarterback setting the NFL record for career passing yards on Monday night, Brady admitted he had touched base with his fellow future Hall of Famer and then detailed their competitive history. That long history began when Brady was at Michigan and Brees was passing at Purdue.
“Mildly competitive guys,” Brady said with a smirk. “We played against each other in college. We beat him my senior year, which was good. He’s had a great career. I think so highly of him and everything he’s accomplished. He’s a great player. He’s great leader, played on two different teams. Been so productive. It’s great when you see that happen. It’s a very competitive league and to be around competing is really a privilege to still be able to do it. I feel that way myself. I’m sure he does too. They’ve had some great years. He’s having another one this year.”
Matching up with Mahomes: While Brady and Chiefs second-year sensation Patrick Mahomes are the clear stars of Sunday night’s game, they obviously won’t actually be going head to head on the field. Both will be trying to beat defenses that will have their hands full. Brady somewhat downplayed the matchup and said he hasn’t seen a ton of Mahomes’ action, but did later admit he’s aware of the various quarterbacks around the league and how they are playing. Especially with “a lot of those guys” who were basically little kids when Brady began his career.
“It’s always great to see young players come in and learn from the guys of the past,” Brady said. “I think quarterbacks are always paying attention to other quarterbacks. You’re just watching how they are moving the ball. There are a lot of different ways to lead your team and move your team down the field and score points. So if you can learn things from other players, you are always trying to. And when your offense is hot and scoring a lot of points I think everyone is trying to learn from what they’re doing. They are just executing really well. I think that’s what we have to take from it. We have to execute really well.”