Matthew Slater remembers how bad Patriots special teams were in first meeting vs. Chiefs

Ryan Hannable
January 16, 2019 - 8:30 am

FOXBORO -- The Patriots special teams were not good at all during the beginning of the season, and that included Week 6 when the Patriots played the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.

Kick returner Tremon Smith had 180 yards on four returns, which included a 97-yarder late in the fourth quarter that set up the touchdown that put the Chiefs ahead, 33-30 at the time. Kansas City's average drive start was the 40-yard line, which is not good at all.

Speaking Tuesday, Matthew Slater remembers clearly what happened thanks to the notes he keeps for each game he plays.

"All I remember from going back to my notes from when we played Kansas City was writing down that we’re not very good in the kicking game," he said. "I saw that today and I certainly haven’t forgotten how we played against these guys. It was terrible, so we’re going to try and avoid a repeat of that. I think that we’ve certainly made strides throughout the course of the season."

The unit has been much better of late and that is due in large part to new additions Ramon Humber and Albert McClellan, who were added in the middle of the season.

"It’s been great to have Bert [Albert McClellan] come in and really help us, Ramon [Humber] come in and help us," Slater said. "Two steady veterans that really understand how to play this game. They’ve brought a lot of balance to our game and what we do and I think we have made strides, but we’re going to find out whether we’ve made enough strides here come Sunday night."

In such a big game, special teams can make a difference and the Patriots will need to be much better than they were in Week 6.

Related: Hannable: Patriots’ X-factor vs. Chiefs will be player who didn’t even play in first meeting