Here are the game’s winners and losers:
- Tom Brady came into Sunday Night Football looking for his 200th regular-season victory, the most all time. He earned it by working in seven different Patriots receivers, including five with three receptions or more. Brady went 24 for 35 for 340 yards, one touchdown and no picks. Brady also scored a key 4-yard rushing touchdown on the ground.
- While Patrick Mahomes did make some mistakes on Sunday night, especially on the two first-half interceptions—both bad—he went toe to toe with Brady and almost led the Chiefs to a comeback victory. Mahomes finished 23 of 36 for 352 yards, four touchdowns and the two picks. He has now thrown for more than 300 yards five games in a row and is the only Chiefs player in history to do so, according to the Chiefs public relations staff. Mahomes’ 1,865 total passing yards on the year are also the most through six weeks in Chiefs history. Brady made a point of it to find Mahomes after the game. Mahomes is the real deal.
- Rob Gronkowski showed why so many people consider him the best tight end in the league on Sunday night. Gronkowski is so dangerous in the open field, and he made the Chiefs pay with three catches Sunday night for a total of 97 yards.
- The tandem of Sony Michel and James White is as good as billed. Michel has great vision and showed shiftiness in his 106-rushing yard effort, and White is a great change-of-pace back that offers Brady a reliable and scary option in the passing game. White had 92 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on the night.
- Speaking of yards from scrimmage, Kareem Hunt loves Gillette Stadium. After recording 246 scrimmage yards in his NFL debut Week 1 of last season in Foxborough, Hunt followed that performance with a 185-yard performance Sunday night. Hunt had 77 rushing yards and 105 receiving yards in the Chiefs’ loss. The first and third most productive games of Hunt’s career have come at Gillette Stadium.
- Both Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce deserve to be on this list based upon their nights. Hill continues to show why he is not only a dynamic player but also one of the up-and-coming receivers in the National Football League. Hill had three touchdowns and 142 yards against New England. On a night when the Patriots did everything to take him out of the game, Kelce still managed 61 yards on five catches.
- Linebacker Dont’a Hightower did a nice job on his early interception of Patrick Mahomes. Hightower faked a blitz and dropped into coverage, and Mahomes bit badly. Hightower nearly returned the pick for a touchdown but was stopped just four yards short after a 27-yard return. Dee Ford continues to be a force to be reckoned with on his contract year.
- Way to take advantage of an opportunity, Tremon Smith, with your 97-yard return that set up the Chiefs’ go-ahead touchdown. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker continued his perfect season by going 4 for 4 on a night the Chiefs desperately needed him to be perfect.
- NFL Network host and AP lobbyist Peter Schrager almost nailed his guest game prediction. Kudos.
- Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton leads off this list with the Chiefs surrendering exactly 500 net yards and 43 points to the New England Patriots, but it would be wrong to place all the blame on Sutton. For one reason or another, the Chiefs refuse to finish tackles, and that start with the “dynamic duo” of...
- Anthony Hitchens and Reggie Ragland. Brought on to the Chiefs shore up the run defense, Rags To Hitches has failed to do so to this point in the season. The Patriots rushed for 173 yards on Sunday night, the fourth game in a row the Chiefs have allowed 100 rushing yards or more.
- Breeland Speaks should have wrapped up Brady on the 4-yard touchdown play, and he didn’t because he thought Brady had thrown the ball. The real loser when it comes to Speaks and that play is the NFL, whose pass-rules are changing the mentalities of players that made the game great for the worse. That problem needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. You may be able to make a case for Speaks on the winners list, as he recorded the first sack of his career, a strip-sack of Brady.
- If Sutton is going onto this list, so too should Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores and defensive-minded head coach Bill Belichick. The Chiefs and Patriots combined for 83 points on Sunday night. Nobody involved in defensive game-planning deserves to walk out a winner. The Patriots secondary, which left Hill wide open with room for a 75-yard, go-ahead score, also makes the losers list. The Patriots defense let up 446 net yards.
- Chiefs cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Steven Nelson looked as though they struggled on Sunday night. Fuller was the victim of an early Patriots touchdown made by Julian Edelman and Steven Nelson gets awfully grabby on occasion, and he was the victim of a 37-yard defensive pass interference penalty because of it on Sunday night. If safety Jordan Lucas wants to start regularly, he has to make plays like the late pick of Brady that went in and out of his hands. That play would have sealed the deal for the Chiefs.
- Wide receiver Sammy Watkins felt invisible against New England. Eric Berry didn’t play, again.
Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.