The New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chief delivered a game for the ages in Foxboro, Massachusetts on Sunday night. The Chiefs proved that they will be a formidable force in the AFC for the foreseeable future. However, the Patriots proved that they are still the team to beat in the AFC.
Stephen Gostkowski hit a 28-yard field goal as time expired, and the Patriots defeated the previously undefeated Chiefs 43-40 at Gillette Stadium.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 340 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 4 yard rushing touchdown, after nearly suffering a sack from Chiefs linebacker Breeland Speaks (who had Brady in his clutches, only to release him too soon.) It was Brady’s 200th victory as a starter, which is the most all-time among quarterbacks. In addition, he also passed former teammate Adam Vinatieri for most career wins in the regular season and playoffs combined with 227.
The Patriots offense was equally as impressive on the ground on Sunday night. On the back of rookie Sony Michel, the Patriots repeatedly penetrated the Chiefs’ defensive line. Michel rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
New England seemed to be in control of the highly anticipated matchup among two of the AFC’s most prolific teams. They led 24-9 at halftime. The often maligned Patriots defense held the high-powered Chiefs offense the three field goals and zero touchdowns.
However, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes showed why he has been the most praised player in the NFL thus far in 2018. He also proved that the praise is well-deserved. Mahomes directed an impressive rally by Kansas City in the second half. He finished 23 of 36 for 352 yards in his first loss as a starting quarterback, Three of his four touchdown passes went to speedy receiver Tyreek Hill.
Mahomes did struggle early in this game. He failed to connect with his receivers early and threw two interceptions in the first half, However, the second- year signal caller showed tremendous poise down the stretch. After a defensive coverage sack of Tom Brady turned into fumble that was recovered by the Chiefs, Mahomes led the offense to a touchdown in the closing minutes of the third quarter. He once again found Hill for a 75-yard touchdown pass that tied the game with just over three minutes remaining.
However, the Chiefs simply left Tom Brady and the Patriots too much time. Although Brady had previously found the endzone himself, Brady would seek a reliable target to secure the win. He found tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had three receptions for 97 yards, for a big completion to set up the game-winning field goal.
With the win, the Patriots improve to 4-2 on the season. While the Chiefs continue to hold the AFC’s best record at 5-1, the Patriots showed why they continue to securely occupy the AFC’s throne…at least, for now.
Patriots offensive lineman Marcus Cannon left the game in the third quarter to be evaluated for a head injury.
The Patriots travel to the Windy City in Illinois to take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday, October 21, 2018.
-Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the NFL and the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC