FOXBORO (CBS) — Roughly 11 months removed from the AFC Championship Game, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs have exacted some level of revenge.
No, this game didn’t guarantee a Super Bowl berth, but the Kansas City Chiefs nevertheless put forth an impressive effort that resulted in a 23-16 victory on Sunday over the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
The Chiefs led 20-7 at halftime, and they extended that lead to 23-7 early in the third quarter. The Patriots then stormed back furiously, ending up five yards away from potentially tying the game. But the Chiefs came up with a defensive stand — something sorely lacking in their games vs. New England last season — allowing Patrick Mahomes to kneel down and drain the clock.
Tom Brady went 19-for-36 for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Patrick Mahomes went 26-for-40 for 283 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Patriots got out to an early 7-0 lead, thanks to a pair of pass interference penalties committed by the Chiefs on two third downs on the opening drive. Brady then hit Edelman for a 37-yard touchdown off a perfectly executed flea flicker.
Mahomes threw an interception to J.C. Jackson on the ensuing Chiefs possession, but the Patriots failed to turn that into points. The Chiefs then drove 53 yards and kicked a field goal, to cut the New England lead to 7-3.
The Patriots tried to stretch that lead to seven points, but Tanoh Kpassagnon slipped between Marcus Cannon and Marshall Newhouse and blocked Nick Folk’s field goal attempt.
The Chiefs capitalized, with Mahomes hitting Mecole Hardman for 48 yards on a second-and-25 for a touchdown. Hardman got past Jonathan Jones in man coverage, and after Jones fell to the turf, Hardman won a foot race with Duron Harmon for the touchdown.
Bashaud Breeland intercepted a Brady pass intended for Matt LaCosse, and the Chiefs turned that into a touchdown to take a 17-7 lead. Mahomes connected with Kelce for 20 yards to convert a third-and-5, and Kelce later stepped in as an option quarterback and ran it in from the 4-yard line on third-and-goal.
After halftime, the Chiefs converted a fourth-and-inches en route to adding another field goal, stretching their lead to 23-7.
Nate Ebner provided a spark, blocking a Kansas City punt midway through the third quarter. It took the Patriots just two plays — a 9-yard run by James White, and a 10-yard touchdown run by Brandon Bolden — to find the end zone, but White’s attempt to rush in a two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 23-13.
Late in the third quarter, Kelce was stripped of the ball by Devin McCourty. Stephon Gilmore recovered the ball and was en route to returning it for a touchdown, but the play was blown dead. Bill Belichick challenged the ruling on the field, and replay showed a clear fumble by Kelce. The Patriots lost Gilmore’s return, but they did gain possession and prevent the Chiefs from scoring.
The Patriots ended up settling for a field goal.
The Patriots took over with five minutes left, trailing by seven. On their first play, White took a handoff and went for another trick play, this time tossing a halfback pass for Jakobi Meyers. The rookie receiver made the catch and burst up the sideline for a gain of 35 yards. Later in the drive, on a fourth-and-6, Brady scrambled for a gain of 17 yards.
And now @TomBrady RUNS it 17 yards for the first down.
ON FOURTH DOWN. pic.twitter.com/gfBkYzHl0H
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 9, 2019
The Patriots later faced a fourth-and-3 from the 5-yard line. Brady threw to Edelman in the end zone, but Breeland reached over Edelman’s back and broke up the pass, essentially ending the game.
New England fell to 10-3 on the season with Sunday’s loss, falling a game back of the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens in the AFC standings. Kansas City improved to 9-4 to take over the three-seed in the AFC.