Kansas City Chiefs defense frustrates Tom Brady, Patriots in 23-16 win
By Matt Conner
The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots played a close game and the visiting team came out on top with a 23-17 win.
While it didn’t quite mirror the epic offensive shootout from last season’s AFC Championship game, the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots still served up a matchup worthy of the hype heard all season long. When the smoke cleared from the contest, the Chiefs, on the strength of their defensive front, put away the Patriots with a final score of 23-16.
The game opened with the oddest of drives for the Patriots, who looked sluggish in the run but benefitted from two defensive pass interference calls to move the chains downfield before Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman in the end zone on a flea-flicker. The Pats were up 7-0 and, on the ensuing drive for the Chiefs, the team’s defense forced Patrick Mahomes to throw his third interception once per year.
From there, however the Chiefs took control until after halftime. Mahomes led the Chiefs on a nice 9-play, 53 yard drive that put the team on the board with a 48-yard field goal by Harrison Butker. On the ensuing drive, Mahomes found rookie Mecole Hardman for a 48 yard strike and his first touchdown pass of the game.
Bashaud Breeland then intercepted Brady and took advantage of the short field to put in a crazy Travis Kelce trick play which resulted in the tight end’s first career rushing touchdown. After another Butker field goal, the Chiefs went into halftime up 20-7.
In the second half, however, the Pats were able to sneak back into the game. The Chiefs opened the second half with a field goal by Butker once again, his third on the day, but the Patriots blocked a punt on the Chiefs next drive. Taking advantage of a short field, Brandon Bolden ran in a 10-yard scramble. The Chiefs were moving the chains again on the ensuing drive, but Devin McCourty forced a Travis Kelce fumble and the Pats ended up with a field goal in response to make it a 23-16 game.
From there, both defenses came up big to remain scoreless for most of the fourth quarter—aided by some seriously conservative playcalling on the part of the Chiefs staff. The Patriots, however, came up big with yet another trick play, a halfback pass from James White to Jakobi Meyers for 35 yards. From there, the Chiefs defense held the Patriots on a key third down play only to see Brady rush—yes, rush—for 17 yards when left wide open. Yet the Patriots could not score on first-and-goal, and Bashaud Breeland tipped away the last gasp for the Pats.
With the win, the Chiefs have now secured their fourth consecutive AFC West title and get ready to host the Denver Broncos next week. The Patriots travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals.