The Patriots defeated the previously unbeaten Chiefs 43-40 in a high scoring contest. Coming off a 38-24 win in their last game against the Colts, the Patriots played host to the hot Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. Last season, the Chiefs won at Gillette Stadium in the 2017 regular season opener 42-27. New England had 10 days to prepare for the high powered offence led by their gunslinging quarterback. Coming into the game, Bill Belichick‘s team have not been too kind to young QB’s. For example, Belichick and Tom Brady have a 23-0 record at home versus quarterbacks age 25 or younger.
A Tale of Two Halves
In the first half, the strong-armed Mahomes came back to earth because of the Patriots defence. It looked like the bright lights were too big for Mahomes as he was off target on some throws that could’ve resulted in six points. They settled for three field goals. Also, he threw two interceptions in the first half. One was when he thought Dont’a Hightower was blitzing but dropped into coverage and picked off his pass. The next one happened near the end of the half when he rolled to his right and threw into the end zone. It ping-ponged off a couple of guys and went into the hands of Duron Harmon.
However, things would change in the second half as he calmed down. First off he threw a deep pass to Kareem Hunt 67 yards to the house reminiscent to what Hunt produced last year in both teams season opener. Then he would throw three more touchdowns to his favorite speedy target Tyreek Hill. The most notable throw happened with 3:03 and the Chiefs down 40-33. That’s when Mahomes threw deep to Hill for 75 yards and the game-tying TD off a blown coverage.
The Patriots played efficiently as they had balance in running and passing. Their run-pass ratio was 38:35 as they controlled the ball for 36 minutes, keeping Mahomes and company on the sidelines. Just like in their Super Bowl 52 loss, they did not punt in the game. They ran for 173 yards with rookie Sony Michel having 106 of them and two touchdowns. James White had 39 yards on the ground on an average 6.5 yards per carrying and had five catches for 53 yards. He was tough to stop when he was in the open space.
Brady Clutch Again
Brady once again did what makes him such a good QB against the Chiefs. He would have another 300 yard performance including some impressive moments. With 5:25 left down 37-33, he led his troops down the field where they had third and goal on the Chiefs four-yard line. Then, Brady got wrapped by Breeland Speaks and let go as he ran for the touchdown to put the Pats in the lead. After Kansas City struck back to tie the game, he would get the ball again never to give it up.
The final drive started at their own 25. They started off with a Julian Edelman reverse and two runs by Michel. Then, White would take a swing pass for 16 yards and the biggest play of the drive happened. Brady threw deep to the right sideline to Rob Gronkowski (who had a 42-yard catch and run on the previous possession) for 39 yards to put them into field goal. Stephen Gostkowski would make the 28-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. It would be Brady’s 54th career game-winning drive he engineered. With the win, Brady is the first QB to have 200 regular season victories on his resume.
The Last Word
The Patriots were impressive in giving the Chiefs their first defeat of the year despite giving up 40 points at home. There is a real chance that these teams could meet again in the AFC playoffs. Next, for the 4-2 Pats, it’s on to Chicago.
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