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Chiefs end season with heartbreaking 37-31 overtime loss to Patriots at Arrowhead

The Chiefs will have to try again in 2019 after losing a thriller to end their season.

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs played their worst football in the season in the first half, trailing 14-0 at halftime. But in the second half, they came back strong and tied the game 31-31 with just 11 seconds remaining to force overtime, and ultimately fell to the New England Patriots 37-31, ending their season and sending the Patriots to Super Bowl LIII to face the Los Angeles Rams.

First quarter

The Chiefs won the toss and deferred to the second half. After a 25-yard return from Cordarrelle Patterson, the Patriots started their first drive at the 20-yard line, and promptly gained 11 yards on a handoff to Sony Michel up the middle. Michel carried for another yard, and then Tom Brady found Rob Gronkowski for a 13-yard gain. Michel was stopped for no gain, Gronkowski got six yards on a short pass to the right, and James White got five more for a first down across midfield.

The Patriots continued to grind, getting four yards from Michel up the middle, five more on a short pass to Rex Burkhead, and a first down with a two-yard run by James White. Burkhead carried for three yards, Brady couldn’t connect on a pass to White, and then hit Julian Edelman for a 14-yard pass that put the Patriots in the red zone.

From the 16-yard line, Michel got the ball on three consecutive plays: an 11-yard gain that gave the Patriots first-and-goal at the five-yard line, then a four-yard gain to the doorstep, and a one-yard touchdown run that made the score 7-0 with 6:55 left in the first quarter.

The Chiefs started at the 16-yard line after a 19-yard return by Tremon Smith. Damien Williams carried for five yards to start, and was then dropped by Elandon Roberts for a two-yard loss. On third down, Patrick Mahomes overthrew Sammy Watkins, but Jonathan Jones was called for defensive holding, and that gave the Chiefs a fresh set of downs at the 24-yard line.

Mahomes overthrew a deep shot to Watkins, and then missed a short pass to Watkins on the left. On third down, the Patriots’ pass rush got home, sacking Mahomes for a 14-yard loss. Julian Edelman returned Dustin Colquitt’s punt to the Chiefs 44-yard line, and the Patriots went back to work.

Brady missed Edelman on first down, it Burkhead with a swing pass good for six yards, and then handed off to White for a four-yard gain that moved the sticks. Burkhead gained a yard, and Brady hit Patterson for a 15-yard gain that put the Patriots in the red zone.

Nothing was stopping the Patriots. Michel gained four yards up the middle, and then four more. Brady hit Edelman for five yards that gave the Patriots first-and-goal at the five as the first quarter came to an end.

Second quarter

Michel gained four yards to the doorstep, but was stopped cold on the next play. On third down, Brady tried a pass to Gronkowski in the end zone, but Reggie Ragland intercepted the ball and knelt for a touchback.

From the 20-yard line, Mahomes tried a pass to Kelce that fell incomplete, and then hit him for a nine-yard gain. But on third down, Williams was stopped for no gain, and the Chiefs had to punt. Edelman returned the punt for 14 yards, and the Patriots started at the 26-yard line.

Michel gained three yards up the middle to start the drive, and then missed Grownkowski — although Eric Berry nearly intercepted the pass. Then he found White for a nine-yard gain, and Gronknowski for nine more. Michel gained two for a first down, and Brady couldn’t connect with White. Michel gained nine, but on the next play, was swarmed for no gain. That brought up fourth-and-1 on the Chiefs 42. After being called for delay of game, Ryan Allen’s punt was fair-caught by Tyreek Hill at the one-yard line.

Williams gained six off right tackle, and the Chiefs gained two on a shovel pass to Kelce. On third down, Mahomes was chased from the pocket, escaped a sack and found Watkins for a 12-yard gain. On the next play, Hill got clear in the secondary, and Mahomes found him for a 42-yard gain to the Patriots 23-yard line.

But the Chiefs couldn’t capitalize. After Mahomes overthrew Williams running open down the right sideline — a sure touchdown — Williams lost a yard off tackle, and Mahomes was sacked for a 14-yard loss. Colquitt dropped a punt to the 10-yard line that Edleman fielded with a fair catch..

Michel gained two yards up the middle, and then gained nine for a first down as the two-minute warning sounded.

Michel got the ball for a yard around left end, and then five more on second down. The Chiefs took a timeout, and on third down, Brady easily converted with a five-yard pass to the right. Then the Patriots tried a screen to the right, and White broke it for a 30-yard gain to the Chiefs 38-yard line with 41 seconds left in the half. White gained nine yards, and then Brady uncorked a deep shot to the end zone that Phillip Dorsett hauled in to make the score 14-0 with just 27 seconds left in the half.

The Patriots kicked a grounder, and Demetrius Harris returned to the 42-yard line. On the next play, Mahomes was sacked for a 14-yard loss, and the half ended with the Patriots holding a 14-0 lead.

Third Quarter

Tremon Smith returned the second half kickoff to the 26-yard line, and the Chiefs went to work. Mahomes opened with a screen pass to Williams, who gained five yards. Williams then gained three. On third-and-2 and with plenty of time, Mahomes chucked it deep, finding Watkins for a 54-yard gain at the Patriots 12-yard line. One more throw to Kelce, and the Chiefs were back in the game, trailing 14-7 with 12:56 left in the third quarter.

After a touchback, Brady found Burkhead for a six-yard gain, Edelman for three more, and converted with a one-yard carry by Burkhead. Then Brady overthrew Gronkowski and handed off to Michel, who gained four around left end. On third down, Chris Jones got a hand on Brady’s pass to Grownkowski, and the Patriots had to punt. Hill lost 11 yards on the return, and Frank Zombo was called for an illegal block. That started the Chiefs on the four-yard line.

From the end zone, Mahomes hit Harris for a gain of a yard on the left sideline. Williams gained 10 yards to convert. Then Cameron Erving was called for a false start, bringing up first-and 15. Mahomes tried a pass to Kelce, but Kelce couldn’t hang on to the ball. On second down, Mahomes was sacked again — this time for a three-yard loss. On third-and-18, Mahomes tried a pass to Chris Conley — who was smothered by Jason McCoutry — and the Chiefs had to punt.

Colquitt’s punt was for only 42 yards against the wind, and Edelman’s return started the Patriots at the Kansas City 37-yard line.

The Chiefs desperately needed a stop, but had to settle for yielding only a field goal. Michel got two yards up the middle, and Hogan converted with an 11-yard completion. Michel got another yard, and then caught a five-yard pass. But Dorsett was called for offensive pass interference, which gave the Patriots second-and-19. After a two-yard pass to Hogan and a draw play to White that gained two more, Allen kicked a 47-yard field goal that extended the Patriots’ lead to 17-7.

The Chiefs started at the 25 after a touchback. Under pressure, Mahomes stiff-armed a rusher and threw the ball away. On second down, he stepped up in the pocket and scrambled for nine yards. On third-and-1, Mahomes sneaked it through to convert. Williams was the outlet receiver on the next play, and gained four yards when Mahomes couldn’t find a receiver deep. Williams gained three more, and on third-and-2, Mahomes threw a sidearm pass to Watkins good for 10 yards that put the Chiefs across midfield.

From the Patriots’ 47, Mahomes hit Williams with a short pass to the right, and Williams found daylight — scampering for 33 yard to the 14-yard line. Mahomes’s tried a fade pass to Williams the end zone as the third quarter ended, but it was overthrown.

Fourth Quarter

Mahomes tried a pass to Kelce at the goal line that went incomplete, but J.C. Jackson was called for defensive pass interference, and the Chiefs had a new set of downs at the one-yard line. Mahomes found Williams in the end zone, and the Chiefs narrowed the score to 17-14 with 14:51 left in the fourth quarter.

Patterson returned the kickoff to the 24-yard line, and the Patriots got started. Brady immediately hit Edelman with a 19-yard pass. Michel was stuffed for a one-yard loss, and then converted on a tough 10-yard run that put the Patriots across midfield. Michel gained three more off right tackle, and Brady converted with a nine-yard pass to James Develin. Michel gained three, and Brady found White for a five-yard gain. On third down, White gained a yard, but was just short of the sticks.

From the Chiefs 25-yard line, the Patriots elected to go for it, but Daniel Sorensen led a crowd of Chiefs who held Burkhead to no gain, giving the Chiefs the ball with 9:33 remaining. But the Chiefs couldn’t do anything with the chance. After a two-yard run by Williams and a pair of incompletions, the Chiefs punted.

Edelman was unable to field Colquitt’s punt cleanly, and Gehrig Dieter picked up the loose ball and ran it in for a touchdown. The referees consulted, and agreed that Edelman had touched the ball. But on review, the officials determined that Edelman had never touched the ball, and the Patriots got the ball where Dieter first touched it: the 28-yard line.

But despite the overturned call, momentum apparently remained with the Chiefs. Michel gained two yards up the middle, and then Brady tried a pass to Edelman that bounced off his hands and into the hands of Sorensen, who returned the ball 22 yards to the Patriots 23-yard line with 7:55 remaining.

Mahomes hit Watkins for a seven-yard gain, but the Patriots challenged the completion, and it was overturned. It didn’t matter. On the next play, Mahomes tossed a screen to Williams on the left sideline, who ran untouched for a 23-yard touchdown that gave the Chiefs a 21-17 lead with 7:45 left in the game.

The Patriots started at the 25 after a touchback. Patterson gained three yards on a short pass. On an incompletion to Edleman — where Charvarius Ward smothered the receiver — Chris Jones was given a questionable flag for roughing the passer . That made it first-and-10 from the 43-yard line. Michel gained two yards, and Brady missed Gronkowski. On third down, Brady converted on a 14-yard pass to Hogan. The Chiefs believed Hogan hadn’t made a clean catch, and challenged the play, but it was upheld after review.

Burkhead ran for 14 yards off left tackle, and Brady hit Gronknowski for a 11-yard pass to the Kansas City 19-yard line. Burkhead gained six yards on first down, bringing up third-and-1. The Chiefs held on third down, and the Patriots went for it on fourth-and-inches from the Chiefs 10. Burkhead ran through the line untouched to the end zone, and the Patriots went up 24-21 with 3:32 left in the game.

The Chiefs started at the 32-yard line. Mahomes missed Watkins to start the drive. Then on a incompletion to Kelce — which at first appeared to be a fumble recovered by the Patriots — Jackson was called for defensive holding, and the Chiefs got a new set of downs at the 37-yard line.

After an incompletion, Mahomes tried another deep pass to Watkins that fell incomplete. But on that play, the Patriots were called for roughing the passer and for pass interference. The Chiefs accepted the latter, which gave the Chiefs first-and-10 at the Patriots 40.

Mahomes went for broke, trying a deep pass to Hill in the end zone that was broken up. Then Mahomes found Watkins open on the left side, and the big receiver broke it for a 38-yard gain to the two-yard line. Williams took it across to give the Chiefs a 28-24 lead with 2:03 remaining.

Patterson got a big kick return, starting New England at the 38-yard line right at the two-minute warning.

Brady hit Edleman for a 20-yard gain, and then Hogan for 11 more. Then he underthrew Dorsett under pressure. Hogan hauled in a 13-yard pass to the Kansas City 21 with 1:01 remaining. But the booth called a review, and the call was overturned. which brought up third-and-10 at the 34-yard line.

On the next play, the Chiefs appeared to have intercepted the ball — but the Chiefs had jumped offside. That wiped out the play, and gave the Patriots third-and-5 at the 29. Brady went for a rainbow pass to Grownknowski that gained 25 yards, and then Burkhead ran it in to the end zone, giving the Patriots a 31-28 lead with 38 seconds left.

Smith returned the ball to the 31-yard line. Under pressure, Mahomes finally found Spencer Ware open for a 21-yard gain. Then he found Demarcus Robinson for 27 more to the Patriots 21. An offisides penalty against the Patriots stopped the clock with 16 seconds left. Mahomes took a shot for the end zone that was incomplete, and the Chiefs lined up for a field goal with 11 seconds remaining. Harrison Butker’s 39-yard field goal was good, and the game went into overtime tied 31-31.

Overtime Quarter

The Patriots won the toss, and started at the 25 after a touchback, Brady hit Hogan for a 10-yard pass, and then Burkhead was stopped for no gain. After a pass to Edelman was overthrown, Brady tried Edelman again and picked up 20 yards to put the Patriots across midfield. Brady tried Dorsett on the left sideline, and couldn’t connect. On second down, Patterson dropped a pass. On third -and-10, Brady found Edelman for a 15-yard gain.

The Patriots then called a flea-flicker back to Brady, but the pass went nowhere near a receiver in the end zone. Brady couldn’t connect with Patterson, and on third-and-10, Gronkowski hauled in a 15-yard reception to the Chiefs 15-yard line. Burkhead gained 10, giving the Patriots first-and-goal at the five-yard line. Burkhead gained three yards to the two, and then powered through for a touchdown to win the game 37-31.

Stats Headlines

Patrick Mahomes threw for 295 yards, with 16 completions on 31 attempts, three touchdowns and no interceptions, compiling a passer rating of 117.0 on the day. He was sacked four times.

For the Patriots, Tom Brady was 30 for 46, totaling 348 yards, one touchdown pass and two interceptions. His passer rating for the game was 77.1. The Chiefs were unable to sack him.

Sammy Watkins led Chiefs receivers with 114 yards on four receptions. Damien Williams had 66 yards on five catches with two touchdowns, and Tyreek Hill had one reception for 42 yards. Travis Kelce had a touchdown reception, and gained 23 yards on three catches.

Damien Willaims rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. As a team, the Chiefs gained 41 yards on the ground on 12 attempts.

The Chiefs allowed 524 total yards to the Patriots — 176 yards rushing, and 348 through the air.

Full game stats from


Xavier Williams was shaken up on the first Patriots drive, but returned to the game.


Linebackers Dorian O’Daniel and Tanoh Kpassagnon, offensive linemen Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Kahlil McKenzie and Jimmy Murray, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin tight end Deon Yelder were inactive for the game.

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