Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the New England Patriots, 23-16, in an absolute thriller of a contest on Sunday afternoon as the Chiefs outlasted a late Patriots’ rally to secure the victory and – coupled with the Oakland Raiders’ loss – lock up a fourth-straight AFC West title in the process.
After yielding a touchdown on New England’s opening drive, Kansas City went on to score 23 unanswered points to build a sizable lead before the Patriots pulled within a single score early in the fourth quarter.
New England quarterback Tom Brady then led the Patriots all the way to Kansas City’s 5-yard line with just over a minute left in regulation, but Chiefs’ cornerback Bashaud Breeland batted Brady’s pass incomplete on fourth down to flip possession on downs and preserve the victory.
It all helped Kansas City snap the Patriots’ 21-game winning streak at Gillette Stadium and lock up the division crown.
Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 26-of-40 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown in the game, connecting with wide receiver Mecole Hardman on a 48-yard score to push Kansas City in front early in the second quarter.
Hardman matched Baltimore Ravens’ wide receiver Marquise Brown for the league-lead in receiving touchdowns amongst rookies with the score as New England fell behind at home for the first time since Week 6 of last season, which was also against Kansas City.
Breeland then picked off Brady a snap later, setting up a four-yard rushing touchdown by tight end Travis Kelce – who took the direct snap out of the “wildcat” formation – to push the Chiefs ahead by double-digits.
And while the offense was piling up 249 yards in the first half alone, the defense managed to generate pressure on Brady and the Patriots’ offense throughout the game. Kansas City’s pass rush tallied six hits and three sacks on Brady, holding the Patriots to just seven points until late in the third quarter.
New England rallied to bring the score within 10 points, however, as tailback Brandon Bolden found the end zone on a 10-yard rush following a blocked punt a few plays earlier. The Patriots later narrowed the deficit further with a field goal early in the fourth quarter, pulling within a touchdown.
The two teams then traded possessions before Kansas City punted it away to New England with just over five minutes left, but the Chiefs’ defense ultimately held in the shadow of their own goal post to lock up the victory.
At 24 years old, Mahomes became the first quarterback in the Brady-Bill Belichick era to defeat New England on the road in the regular season as the Chiefs snapped the Patriots’ historic winning streak at home.
The Chiefs return to Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday for a matchup against the rival Denver Broncos.