For a team that struggled to score points the last two weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs overcame turnovers, drops, and penalties to grind out a much-needed AFC win over the New England Patriots. It wasn’t always pretty, but nothing in the AFC is beautiful.
It wasn’t a great start for the Kansas City Chiefs, but in the end, they found their form on offense, as Quarterback Patrick Mahomes created enough magic despite two interceptions, one not his fault, and penalties that stalled out a few drives.
In defeating the New England Patriots 27-27, the Chiefs improved to 9-5 on the season and firmly held onto the third spot in the AFC. With three games left, home games against the Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals, and the season finale in Los Angeles against the Chargers, it’s likely that with a sweep, they’ll end up as the second seed.
Before we count victories that haven’t happened yet, we should note defeating the Patriots wasn’t easy, but the game, once Kansas City owned a 14-10 halftime lead, was relatively safe. There was little doubt the Chiefs were going to win the game.
However, leading 27-10, Chiefs Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney dropped another pass that led to an interception deep in KC territory. It was another mistake by Toney, who is trying too hard to make out of a play than necessary.
Mahomes threw two touchdowns, one to Jerrick McKinnon and the other to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, which was a human highlight reel. Further, CEH played his best game in a Chiefs uniform since his rookie season.
Rashee Rice continues to make significant strides in the offense. He caught a touchdown pass from McKinnon in the first quarter and made several key third-down catches throughout the game.
Travis Kelce, who banged up his elbow late in the game, only had five catches for 28 yards. He dropped a touchdown in the second half and ran the wrong route on another pass from Mahomes that could have been a score.
The star of the game remains the Chiefs defense.
Even though Patriots Quarterback Bailey Zappe completed 23 of 31 passes, KC’s front seven held New England to 52 yards rushing. Bailey was sacked four times and threw a crucial interception to Willie Gay in the third quarter that the Chiefs converted into a touchdown.
Listen, it wasn’t always pretty, and the drops, penalties, and a missed field goal by Harrison Butker could have signaled the team’s third straight loss. Yet they overcame the miscues because they kept picking each other up when something went wrong.
At the end of the game, Kelce put his arm around Toney and walked off the field with him, showing his support for his teammate. He refuses to allow Toney to be the scapegoat, and Kelce will do whatever he can to help the struggling receiver because he knows they’ll need Toney in the postseason.
Overall, this game was a win; the Chiefs made plays when needed, and they overcame their obstacles. I thought the game plan was solid, and Head Coach Andy Reid did a great job attacking the soft spots in the Patriot’s defense.
Next is a Christmas Day game against the Raiders, so Kansas City will have a week to rest and prepare.
More on this game on Monday!
Note: Kelce Toney image courtesy of James Palmer @JamesPalmerTV