Slow starts continue to vex Patriots offense
|11.22.11 at 5:27 pm ET|
While the Patriots finished strong, for the sixth consecutive game they had a bit of a sluggish start offensively. On Monday against the Chiefs, they managed just 10 points over the first two quarters and going punt-punt-fumble-punt over its first four possessions.
Overall, the Patriots didn’t even get into Chiefs’ territory until Kansas City botched an onside kick at the end of the first quarter, and didn’t engage in a sustained drive from their side of the field into the Chiefs side until late in the second when Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski with a 52-yard scoring strike to finally get New England on the board.
Including Monday night, the Patriots have now averaged 9.3 points over the first half of their last six games, including a high of 13 points (once against the Cowboys and once against the Jets) and a low of zero (against the Giants).
‘We have to do a better job of starting the game with better plays, with better execution,’ Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said Tuesday. ‘Before we go any further, you really have to give Romeo [Crennel] and Kansas City, the defense there, a lot of credit. They came in and played a really good game. They came in and did some things that were really good against what we were doing. (But) we have to continue to go out and execute and have good plays and have good practices and start the game faster.’
The Patriots had 24 points in the second half, but the slow starts remain a concern for O’Brien.
‘I believe we adjusted well during the game in the first half, in the first quarter going into the second quarter. And then, obviously, in the second half we played better,’ O’Brien said. ‘We just have to start faster.’