Game Recap: Patriots Defeat Chiefs, 27-20 from The Mothership
New England held its lead up until late in the fourth, when running back
Charcandrick Westran the ball in for a 1-yard touchdown.
Smith finished 29 of 50 for 246 yards passing and a touchdown. West had 17 carries for 61 yards rushing and a touchdown. Safety
Eric Berryled the Chiefs in tackles with 7 (6 solo).
Chiefs vs. Patriots: 12 Observations from The Mothership
It wasn't the ending anyone in Chiefs Kingdom wanted, but from a 1-5 start to a playoff win and a chance to take on the defending Super Bowl champions in their house for a place in the AFC title game, the Chiefs earned the opportunity to take their shot on Saturdayâthey just came up short.
The Chiefs had their opportunities against the Patriots, and that might be what stings the most about the loss, but they showed everyone exactly the kind of resiliency that got them here in the first place.
When they got down early, they answered.
Ultimately, it wasn't enough, but that doesn't change the fact that the Chiefs accomplished a lot of great things this season and the arrow is still pointing in the right direction for this franchise.
They'll just need to build on this moving forward.
KCChiefs.com Videos: Chiefs vs. Patriots: Kansas City Highlights
The best Chiefs team in years is done, ‘just like that,' and now comes the hard work from The Kansas City Star
"It's crazy how fast it ends, right?" quarterback Alex Smith said. "I mean, it's over. That's it. It's over right now, and it's just like that."
Taking inventory of this particular team and this wild season will require time, and context, and nuance. They have graduated from the tire fires of repeated and failed rebuilding pushes, and they are not yet at the championship level to which they aspire. There are a million thoughts running through the minds of these men, and those of the people who root for them.
The team that lost to the Patriots is not the team that won enough games to get here. That's true in the most obvious sense, with stars like Jeremy Maclin and Justin Houston slow in the beginning and unavailable at the end. Some of the men in this locker room will wonder if the outcome would have been different with their best defensive player and perhaps their best offensive player.
A game of what ifs are sure to ensue, the visualizing of missed plays, but the matters of playing football will take a back seat to the business side in less than two months when the league's calendar year kicks off March 9.
And the Chiefs have a big decision on looming unrestricted free agents, including strong safety Eric Berry, defensive end Jaye Howard, cornerback Sean Smith, left guard Jeff Allen and safety Husain Abdullah, among others.
The list certainly isn't short of high-profile contributors, all of whom wouldn't mind staying put if a deal can get done.
Chiefs' streak and season end in 27-20 playoff loss to Patriots from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Brady threw for two touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski and sneaked for another, and the defending Super Bowl champions reached their fifth straight AFC title game with a 27-20 victory over the Chiefs.
New England (13-4) will meet the winner of Sunday's game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos for a spot in Super Bowl 50. The Patriots are trying to become the first team to win back-to-back NFL titles since they did it in 2003-04.
Perhaps at some point the Chiefs will appreciate what they accomplished this season. They overcame their dismal 1-5 start to win 10 straight games to end the regular season and claim a wild-card playoff spot. The Chiefs then won their first playoff game in 22 years by beating the Texans last weekend in Houston.
That won't ease the sting of this playoff loss. The Chiefs were confident heading to New England that if they played the game that won them 11 straight, they would be able to beat the Patriots and advance to next weekend's AFC Championship Game.
That dream ended early.
Chiefs' magical run ends with 27-20 loss to Patriots in AFC playoffs from The Kansas City Star
Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters stood over Julian Edelman with his shoulders slumped, an exasperated look on his face.
Derrick Johnson, who was standing right next to him, immediately assumed the same position, while Alex Smith tilted his head back with disgust and placed his hands on his hips on the sideline.
This was Saturday evening, the closing moments of the Chiefs' 27-20 AFC Divisional playoff loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, and these were fair reactions considering the way their magical season was about to come to an end; a wacky first-down completion that bounced off outside linebacker Tamba Hali's heavily-bandaged right hand and directly to Julian Edelman.
Chiefs fall to Patriots 27-20, bringing an end to magical season from Chiefs Digest
"They did a nice job offensively, defensively and on special teams," Reid said of the Patriots. "I thought they did a good job. We had a couple blips tonight that you can't have in the playoffs."
It was the first time the Chiefs experienced that losing feeling since October 18, when they fell to the Vikings in Minnesota. Through those 10 games and then last week's victory over Houston in the wildcard round of the playoffs, K.C. had a script they repeated week-after-week.
But they were unable to duplicate their winning formula. In fact, it was the direct opposite, with those blips Reid mentioned as examples of how the Chiefs beat themselves as much as the Patriots contributed to their demise.
The easy explanation is after 11 straight victories the Kansas City Chiefs collapsed at the end of their road, unable to muster the energy to do the things that brought them to the divisional round of the playoffs.
There's some truth to that. The Chiefs were battered and bruised and limping toward what became their finish line.
But a more accurate storyline is the Chiefs had their season ended by a superior opponent. The New England Patriots beat the Chiefs 27-20 simply by preventing the Chiefs from being the team that won 11 straight games.
Alex Smith's scramble looked like a spark, but Chiefs' remarkable run ends from The Kansas City Star
But the rally proved a fleeting mirage on a day when precious little actually went as designed for the Chiefs, who lost their AFC Divisional Playoff game 27-20 in an effort aptly summarized by Smith.
"You're left kind of with ‘what ifs?'" he said.
Exasperatingly punctuated by the "what the ... what?" of time management near game's end, where the Chiefs frittered away their best chance for a last-gasp comeback in anything but clockwork fashion.
Chiefs squander opportunities in playoff loss to Patriots from Chiefs Digest
"We didn't capitalize on our opportunities like we have been doing," Kansas City left guard Jeff Allen said. "When we're in the red zone, we're getting three and they were getting seven. When you're playing a big-time game like this, you got to be able to convert."
The Patriots certainly converted well in the first half, going 6 of 8 (75 percent) on third-down efficiency.
Kansas City wasn't bad, converting 7 of 11 (64 percent) on third-down attempts through the first two quarters.
But the series with a chance to put points on the board proved a crucial miss when considering the opponent.
Someone forgot to tell the Kansas City Chiefs that they were down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game Saturday at Gillette Stadium. Once again, Chiefs coach Andy Reid's game management played a role in a postseason loss -- in this case, a 27-20 defeat to the New England Patriots.
Late clock mismanagement costs Chiefs in comeback attempt from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Trailing the New England Patriots by two touchdowns, Alex Smith and the offense burned more than 5 minutes off the clock to score, a mismanaged try that left the Chiefs with a 27-20 loss on Saturday that ended their 11-game winning streak.
"It's a fine line of getting into the best play and just keep going at the line of scrimmage," Smith said. "It would've been nice to get a score before the two-minute warning. It would've helped tremendously with three timeouts. It probably hurt us there."
With the clock moving, the Chiefs huddled and didn't get off another snap before the two-minute warning.
"I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about,'' Reid said when asked about the clock management late in the game.
Then Reid said, "We wanted to get a play off. There was 2:20 on the clock. We wanted to make sure we got our best personnel on the field for that play, and we didn't get that done.''
Receiver Jason Avant provides highlights for Chiefs in AFC playoff loss from The Kansas City Star
Avant's bounty of four receptions for 69 yards included a remarkable play in the third quarter. Facing a third-and-7 from the Chiefs 23, quarterback Alex Smith spun away from trouble, pulled out of a sack and fired an off-balance pass down the sideline where Avant reached up high behind cornerback Logan Ryan and made a spectacular two-handed catch.
The play went for 26 yards â the longest from scrimmage on the day for the Chiefs â and kept alive what became the team's first touchdown drive.
He added another terrific catch for 13 yards on a fourth-and-8 to keep another touchdown drive alive.
To Avant, the plays and the performance weren't enough.
Something was missing from Kansas City's defensive performance Saturday in the Chiefs' 27-20, season-ending loss to the New England Patriots, and that something wasn't difficult to identify.
With time to operate, Patriots' Tom Brady picks apart Chiefs from The Kansas City Star
Tom Brady added to his amazing resume with the Patriots' 27-20 victory over the Chiefs in the AFC Divisional playoff on Saturday.
His two touchdown passes extended his NFL postseason record to 55 in his career. His 22 playoff victories also are the most by a quarterback.
The Chiefs helped the cause by rarely getting any pressure on Brady.
Brady wasn't sacked. On most plays, he had plenty of time to compete 28 of 42 passes for 302 yards.
Patriots' receiver Danny Amendola makes an impact from The Kansas City Star
"Everybody knows - their fans knew it was a cheap shot," Fleming said. "That was horrible, and we all knew that. I'm just mad that we lost the game, I'm not really worried about the hit or anything like that."
Amendola's response to the play:
"If I block that guy (Fleming), the ball bats into the end zone and we get the ball on the 20, as opposed to the 4," he said. "It's a big change in field position. That's it."
That was the only significant penalty called on New England, even though the Patriots lost only 72 inches of field position after the hit since it was inside the 5.
Loss against Patriots stings, but Chiefs look forward to bright future from Chiefs Digest
Bouncing back is already on the Chiefs' mind. The roller coaster of a season they just went through gave them plenty of learning opportunities â including that 1-5 start.
"We know what we can do and we've learned that we can't dig ourselves in a hole," Ford said. "You exert so much energy to get yourself out of the hole that you have nothing left for the postseason.
"We have to play together and execute every game. Losing five in a row, that took a lot out of us, not physically, mentally, we can't dig a hole. It's hard when you do it that way. We learned that we can get through anything as a team but we never want to go through that again though."
The Kansas City Chiefs finished their season with a 27-20 loss Saturday to the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs. Here are five questions facing the Chiefs this offseason:
What to do about Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson?
Patriots beat Chiefs to reach 5th straight AFC title game from The Boston Herald
It almost looked easy, like the flip of a switch.
The Patriots were healthy, dominant and victorious yesterday as they dispatched the Chiefs by a 27-20 count at Gillette Stadium, and they advanced to the AFC Championship Game for a record-tying fifth consecutive season and the 10th time under coach Bill Belichick.
"It's tough to go out and play good every week, especially when you've got a target," Belichick said. "Everybody is trying to knock us off as they should be. We've just got to stand up and compete every week."
With the Chiefs out, Pederson set to become Eagles coach from Philly.com
Pederson declined comment to reporters from the Philadelphia area in the Gillette Stadium hallway after the loss, which eliminated the Chiefs from the playoffs and will allow the Eagles to hire Pederson as Chip Kelly's replacement this week.
The Eagles announced on Thursday that they had concluded their search, but they have not officially announced Pederson as coach.
The Kansas City Chiefs will miss Doug Pederson - if he leaves from The Associated Press via The Daily Journal
The Kansas City Chiefs will miss Doug Pederson â if he's leaving.
The team was mum on reports the offensive coordinator is in line to replace Chip Kelly as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs' season ended Saturday with a 27-20 loss to the New England Patriots.
"We'll see how things roll here in the next couple of days," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who coached the Eagles for 14 years before being fired after the 2012 season and coming to Kansas City in 2013.
At Big Charlie's Saloon on Saturday, Kansas City fans were talking playoffs and the Eagles new head coach in South Philadelphia.
"Good hire. It's perfect. It makes sense to me," said Jay Johnson.
"I think it's good for them. If he comes from Kansas City, it's gotta be good," said Domenick Beradi.
CBS is using a weird zoomed camera angle in Chiefs-Pats from For The Win
I don't know why CBS is using a lower, close-up angle on a number of plays (about half, through the first quarter) in Saturday's divisional playoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots. It could be a director's decision or a technical difficulty or some new mandate to make things different in the playoffs. What I do know (and what the Internet affirms) is that it's different (at least for as much use as it's gotten as a go-to "live" angle) and said angle is horrible.
4. Amendola won't get suspended even though he should. I mean, Burfict's hit was more high profile and was the culmination of 60 minutes of football chaos, impotently officiated by refs who could never gain control. He didn't lower his shoulder like Amendola did, but he still launched with his helmet and got opponent helmet. A three-game suspension would be too much but a one-gamer would be entirely fair.