This week’s game recap was written at (and during) the Arrowhead Pride Watch Party at The Other Place in Overland Park. We had a terrific time meeting so many AP readers. We hope to see you at the next one!
It started slowly, with the Kansas City Chiefs trading field goals for New England Patriots touchdowns, with the Chiefs trailing 24-9 at the half. But in the second half, the Chiefs clawed their way back, and lost to the Patriots 43-40 on a last-second field goal by Stephen Gostowski.
The Chiefs won the toss, and deferred to receive the second half kickoff. Starting at their own 25-yard line after a touchback on the opening kickoff, the Patriots went right to work, picking up two first downs in three plays. But on third-and-three at the Chiefs 41-yard line, Rob Gronkowski couldn’t bring in Tom Brady’s pass. The Patriots decided to go for it, and a short pass to Josh Gordon fell incomplete, giving the Chiefs a turnover on downs.
Starting at their own 41, the Chiefs tried Kareem Hunt for a four-yard gain off-tackle, and then Patrick Mahomes faked another off-tackle handoff and found Travis Kelce for a 17-yard gain. After another pass to Kelce and a short run from Hunt, the Chiefs had another first down at the Patriots 26-yard line.
But that would be as far as they would get. Mahomes was unable to connect on a third-and-eight pass to Tyreek Hill in the end zone, and the Chiefs had to settle for a 42-yard field goal from Harrison Butker to take a 3-0 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the first quarter.
After another touchback, the Patriots got an immediate break when Ron Parker was called for defensive holding on the first play of the drive. After a 10-yard completion to Chris Hogan, the Patriots gained 23 yards on three straight running plays. But then Sony Michel was stopped by Allen Bailey for no gain, a Brady pass to Hogan went incomplete, and the third down pass to Hogan gained only seven yards, forcing a 48-yard Stephen Gostowski field goal that tied the game 3-3.
After Tremon Smith returned the ensuing kickoff to the Chiefs 23-yard line, the Chiefs committed the first turnover of the game. Mahomes’ pass intended for Kelce was intercepted by Dont’a Hightower at the Chiefs 30, who returned it to the four-yard line. On the next play, Michel bulled his way to a four-yard touchdown run that gave the Patriots a 10-3 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Patriots tried a pooch kickoff, but it ended up giving the Chiefs good field position when Spencer Ware fielded the ball and returned it to the Chiefs 45-yard line. Mahomes opened with a short pass to Hunt that the running back broke for a 25-yard gain, and the Chiefs were at the Patriots 30. But after another run by Hunt, the drive stalled after a pair of incompletions — the second one just off Kelce’s fingertips after he had beaten his man deep to the end zone. So another Butker field goal — this one for 43 yards — narrowed the score to 10-6.
Another touchback started the Patriots at their 25, and the Partiots moved smartly down the field, mixing short running gains with a 16-yard pass to Gronkowski and a 14-yard completion to Julian Edelman. After a pair of runs by Michel picked up another first down, Chris Jones got the first sack of the game, dropping Brady for a six-yard loss and forcing a fumble that the Patriots recovered.
Chris Jones was fired out of a freaking canon here. Patriots got lucky with the recovery pic.twitter.com/E2lP9WSbky— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 15, 2018
After a short pass to Edelman, Brady found him again in the end zone after Kendall Fuller lost his footing, completing a 17-yard touchdown pass to make the score 17-6.
Another touchback started the Chiefs at their 25. Mahomes promptly went deep for Chris Conley, who made a leaping catch for a 19-yard gain. The Chiefs picked up a first down on three runs, and then Cameron Erving was flagged for a false start. On the next play, Hunt found daylight on the right side, bulling his way down the sideline for a 22-yard gain. One play later, Mahomes found Kelce open to the left, and Kelce leapt over Patriots defenders to create a 17-yard gain that gave the Chiefs first-and-goal at the Patriots seven-yard line.
Travis Kelce just hurdled a grown man pic.twitter.com/ALnCvCgAi4— Jimmy Clarke (@JimmyClarke) October 15, 2018
After a short gain from Hunt and a short pass to Anthony Sherman went for a loss, Mahomes couldn’t complete his third down pass to Sammy Watkins in the end zone, and the Chiefs had to settle for a chip shot from Butker to make the score 17-9 with 6:21 remaining in the half.
Again starting at their 25-yard line, the Patriots had little trouble moving the ball again, getting 17 yards on a pass to James White and 13 on a completion to Cordarrelle Patterson to advance into Chiefs territory.
Then Brady went for broke, targeting Gordon on a deep pass to the end zone. But Steven Nelson was flagged for pass interference, giving the Patriots a fresh set of downs at the Kansas City one-yard line. The Chiefs held the Patriots on two running plays, but then Michel made it into the end zone to make the score 24-9.
Starting at the 25 with 1:57 remaining — and two timeouts — the Chiefs had trouble getting the two-minute drill started. Ware dropped a pass to open the drive. Eric Fisher was flagged for illegal use of hands. Finally facing third-and-15 at his own 30, Mahomes scrambled and found Hill for a 27-yard gain. After a six-yard scramble and an eight-yard completion to Kelce, Mahomes hit Hill for a 14-yard gain to the Patriots 15-yard line.
But on the next play — under heavy pressure, and with a Patriot hanging from his shirttail — Mahomes’ pass to Kelce in the end zone bounced out of the tight end’s hands, and was intercepted by Hightower. The half ended with the Patriots maintaining their 24-9 lead.
Tremon Smith returned the second half kickoff to the Chiefs 24-yard line. After a pair of four-yard rushes, Mahomes found himself under pressure, moved out of the pocket, and uncorked a deep pass to Hunt on the right sideline, who outraced the Patriots to the end zone for a 67-yard reception. With Butker’s extra point, that narrowed the Patriots lead to 24-16, and it was a new ball game with only 1:33 elapsed in the second half.
6️⃣7️⃣ yard touchdown pass!— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) October 15, 2018
Patrick Mahomes ➡️ Kareem Hunt pic.twitter.com/cSMyudDwKr
Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff to the Patriots 30-yard line, and the Patriots stayed on the ground for five straight plays, before Brady hit Gordon for a 12-yard gain and the second first down of the drive. A completion to Gordon and a 15-yard run by Michel moved the Patriots deep into the red zone, but then after Derrick Nnadi stopped Michel for no gain and Brady threw a pair of incompletions, the Patriots ultimately had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Gostowski to extend their lead to 27-16.
Tremon Smith returned his third kickoff of the game to the Chiefs 33. After overthrowing Watkins, Mahomes found Hill for a nine-yard gain, and on the next play, pitched it to Hill on a sweep that was marked as a first down. The Patriots challenged the spot of the ball, and the officials ultimately agreed, bringing up fourth-and-inches at the Chiefs 46. The Chiefs decided to try to convert, and did so with a three-yard keeper from Mahomes.
Then Hunt broke a run up the middle for 31 yards, Ware picked up four, and then caught a pass for another four-yard gain. That brought up third-and-two at the Patriots 12, and Mahomes’ pass to Kelce was deflected high into the air. That forced Butker’s fourth field goal of the game, and the Patriots led 27-19.
Starting at their own 25 in their next possession, the Patriots decided they to try and put the Chiefs away. After an 11-yard run by White, Brady went for broke on three consecutive plays. The first was nearly intercepted by Jordon Lucas, the second went incomplete, and on the third, Brady couldn’t find an open receiver, and was ultimately enveloped by the Chiefs pass rush. Breeland Speaks sacked Brady for a nine-yard loss, Brady fumbled, and Allen Bailey fell on the ball at the Patriots 29-yard line.
Three plays later, Mahomes hit Hill in the end zone with a beautiful rainbow pass, and the Chiefs trailed 27-26.
The Patriots were not interested in giving up. On the next drive, Brady completed a 21-yard pass to Edelman, White broke a run for 12 yards, and caught another pass for nine. But after Michel converted a tough third-and-one at the Chiefs 25, the Chiefs run defense held firm, holding the Patriots to four yards on two running plays, and Brady’s third down pass fell incomplete. Gostowski hit another field goal - this one for 39 yards, and the Patriots led 30-26.
The security blanket wouldn’t last, however. On the ensuing kickoff, Tremon Smith broke free with a 97-yard return.
Tremon Smith's 9️⃣7️⃣ yard kickoff return that set up the touchdown. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/3oARKvyCv0— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) October 15, 2018
Two plays later, Tyreek Hill made a sliding catch in the end zone, and the Chiefs led 33-30 with 8:38 remaining in the game.
After a touchback, the Patriots found themselves with a third-and-one at their 34, and Brady went deep, connecting with Hogan for a 42-yard gain. On the next play, a 19-yard pass to Hogan gave the Patriots first-and-goal at the Chiefs 5-yard line. After an incompletion and a second down stop, Brady couldn’t find an open receiver in the end zone, but found an opening up the middle for a four-yard touchdown run. With 5:25 remaining in the game, the Patriots led 37-33.
The Chiefs went three and out on their next possession, bring up the first punt of the game. Starting at their 21, Brady went to Gronkowski, who fought Parker tooth and nail for every yard of a 42 yard gain. Two plays later — on third-and-five at the Chiefs 32 — Brady couldn’t complete a pass to Edelman when he was smothered in coverage by Fuller, and the Patriots settled for a 50-yard Gostowski field goal. extending their lead to 40-33.
That lead wouldn’t last, however. On the next play from scrimmage, Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill on a wide-open deep crossing route, and Hill was off to the races for a 75-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 40 with 3:03 remaining.
Now it was up to the Chiefs defense to force the game into overtime — but they couldn’t get it done. On the next drive, Brady hit Gronkowski with a 39-yard pass that paved the way for a 28-yard Gostowski field goal that sealed a 43-40 Patriots win.
Patrick Mahomes completed 23 passes on 36 attempts, good for 352 yards. He had four passing touchdowns and two interceptions. He was not sacked. His passer rating for the game was 110.0.
For the Patriots, Tom Brady was 24 for 35 for 340 yards, with one passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown, and no interceptions. His passer rating on the day was 109.2. The Chiefs sacked him twice, and Brady fumbled both times.
Tyreek Hill led Chiefs receivers with seven catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Kareem Hunt had five catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, and Travis Kelce had five for 61.
Kareem Hunt rushed for 80 yards on 10 attempts — part of 94 yards rushing the Chiefs gained on 17 attempts. The Chiefs allowed the Patriots 173 yards on the ground on 38 attempts — led by Sony Michel, who had 106 yards on 24 carries.
Mitch Morse was evaluated for a concussion in the second quarter. Jordan Devey moved to center, and Andrew Wylie came in at right guard.
Safeties Eric Berry and Eric Murray, running back Darrel Williams, linebackers Justin Houston and Tanoh Kpassagnon, offensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie and defensive lineman Justin Hamilton were all inactive for the game.
The Chiefs return to Sunday Night Football again next week — this time against at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. Kickoff will be at 7:20 pm (Arrowhead Time).
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