Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro MA
SB Nation affiliate: Arrowhead Pride
TV: NBC, with Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color commentary) and Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter)
Local radio: 98.5 FM The Sports Hub, with Bob Socci (play-by-play) and Scott Zolak (color commentary):
The Patriots received the ball to start the game and Tom Brady found Josh Gordon for 12 yards on the first play. Sony Michel gained 23 yards on three carries, but Brady threw three incompletions- two targets to Gordon and one to Rob Gronkowski- and turned the ball over on downs on the Chiefs 40-yard line.
The Chiefs responded by finding Travis Kelce twice for 26 yards and moving into field goal range. The Patriots were lucky that Patrick Mahomes threw a few errant passes because Kareem Hunt dusted Dont’a Hightower and Tyreek Hill shook Jonathan Jones and the Chiefs settled for a 42-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
The Patriots responded with some more rushes, with Michel gaining 20 yards and Cordarrelle Patterson gaining 3. Brady found Chris Hogan for 17 yards on two receptions, but the Patriots had to settle for a 48-yard field goal to tie the game at 3 apiece.
Dont’a Hightower intercepted the pass on the first play of the Chiefs’ subsequent drive and returned the ball to the 4-yard line. Michel punched it in on the next play for a 10-3 lead.
The Patriots kicked a curious squib kick to the Chiefs 35-yard line and Patrick Mahomes found Kareem Hunt for 25 yards on a slip screen to the Patriots 30-yard line. This felt eerily similar to when the Patriots got too cute against the Philadelphia Eagles a couple years ago and the momentum of the game swung away from New England. Fortunately, the Chiefs only gained 6 more yards and they had to settle for a 43-yard field goal and a 10-6 deficit.
The Patriots have a 2nd-and-2 from the Chiefs 21-yard line after spreading the ball to Gronkowski (16 yards), Julian Edelman (14 yards), Michel (8 yards), and, obviously, Kenjon Barner (16 yards).
Brady found Edelman for a 17-yard touchown on third-and-10 for a 17-6 lead. The Chiefs are apparently not fond of playing defense.
The Chiefs responded with a lengthy drive as the Patriots struggled to contain Kareem Hunt, as the running back gained 38 yards on the drive. Mahomes also found Kelce for 17 yards and Chris Conley for 19 to get to the Patriots 6-yard line, but great defense by Trey Flowers forced a 3rd-and-6 and Stephon Gilmore knocked the pass away from Sammy Watkins to force a field goal to hold on to a 17-9 lead.
Tom Brady and company led a balanced drive to eat up four-and-a-half minutes of the clock as Josh Gordon drew a 37-yard defensive pass to set the team up on the 1-yard line. Sony Michel punched in the score for a 24-9 lead. Michel has 60 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 carries thus far.
Gordon suffered a shoulder injury on the pass interference play and his status will be monitored. Update: Gordon stayed on the sideline, which is a good sign for his availability.
The Chiefs led a two-minute drill to try and score before the half and attempt a double-whammy since they get the ball after the half. Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs 60 yards on 9 plays to the Patriots 15-yard line with 17 seconds left on the clock. Dont’a Hightower pressured Mahomes and hit the quarterback and the pass to Travis Kelce was knocked around in the secondary before Duron Harmon caught it in the end zone to stop the drive.
New England leads 24-9 at the half. The Patriots have scored a touchdown on their past three drives and scored on their past four. The Chiefs have shown no ability of being able to stop Tom Brady and company as Sony Michel has 60 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Brady has completed 11 of 15 passes to seven different targets. Rob Gronkowski- 1 catch, 16 yards- needs to get more involved in the second half.
Meanwhile, the Patriots defense has forced two interceptions and held the Chiefs high-flying offense to three field goals. The Kansas City Quartet of Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce have been pretty successful, too. Hunt has 76 yards on 8 touches; Kelce has 61 yards on 5 catches; and Hill has 43 yards on 3 catches. Stephon Gilmore has eliminated Watkins from the game, knocking away the one target in his direction.
Of course, 41 of Hill’s yards came on the two-minute drill before the half as the Patriots defense settled into a zone defense. The Patriots have used a combination of Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, and Duron Harmon to limit Hill in the first half. So hopefully Hill’s production is more representative of the soft coverage and not a sign of things to come in the second half.
Kansas City gets the ball after the half.
Welp. Kareem Hunt got behind Jason McCourty in zone defense on a wheel route for a 67-yard touchdown on third down to bring the score to 24-16. Jason appeared to expect his brother Devin McCourty to be defending over the top, but Devin had stepped up to cover Tyreek Hill in the middle of the field. That miscommunication was reminiscent of last year’s season opener. Yikes. Hunt has 151 yards and a touchdown today.
Sony. Michel. Sony. Michel. Sony. Michel. The Patriots had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski, but Michel gained 31 yards on 6 carries, Josh Gordon added 20 receiving yards, and the Patriots showed that they can move the ball at will. New England regained their two-score advantage, 27-16.
The Chiefs avoided a three-and-out and the first punt of the game after Patrick Mahomes converted on a 4th-and-1 and then Hunt gained 31 yards to get into the red zone. The Patriots defense didn’t break and held the Chiefs to another field goal and still hold a 27-19 lead. Hunt has 182 yards from scrimmage with one quarter to go.
Aaand that’s not a good response. Tom Brady fumbled the ball on third down and the Chiefs recovered on the Patriots 29-yard line. Brady had plenty of time and should have thrown the ball away, but made a bad decision and gave up the fumble.
That was fast. Mahomes found Tyreek Hill over Devin McCourty for a touchdown and cut the Patriots lead to 27-26.
The Patriots are driving at midfield entering the fourth quarter. New England needs a touchdown. Marcus Cannon suffered a helmet-to-helmet injury and LaAdrian Waddle took over at right tackle.
The Patriots drove down the field on the back of 23 yards from James White and 9 yards from Michel, but Tom Brady couldn’t find White on the Chiefs 21-yard line and the Patriots settled for a 39-yard field goal and a 30-26 lead. Now would be a good time for the Patriots defense to force the first punt of the game.
Well. The Chiefs returned the kickoff 97 yards to the Patriots 3-yard line. That’s awful. Patrick Mahomes threw a lob to Kareem Hunt in the corner of the end zone, but Mahomes overthrew it and Tyreek Hill caught it on a sliding catch in front of Devin McCourty (not good today, again) for a 33-30 Chiefs lead.
Chris Hogan! Brady found Hogan for 42 yards and then followed it up with another 19-yard completion to Hogan to get to the Chiefs 5-yard line. Brady scrambled into the end zone for a touchdown as the Patriots took back the lead, 37-33. There is 5:25 left in the game. Buckle up. First one to force a punt wins, I guess?
And the Chiefs blink first! The Chiefs went three-and-out and Jason McCourty was thisclose to intercepting the football. Kansas City punted the ball to set the Patriots up at the 21-yard line with 3:50 left in the game. Can the Patriots lead a 4-minute drill to ice the game?
Rob Gronkowski is still #VeryGood at football as he kicked the Patriots drive off with a 42-yard gain. The Patriots were unable to pick up another first down, but Gostkowski connected on an enormous 50-yard field goal to extend the lead to 40-33. Remember this kick when thinking of how Gostkowski is clutch. That’s a big kick.
Oh, Tyreek Hill just scored on a 75-yard touchdown on the very first play of the next drive as Kansas City tied the game 40 apiece. Perhaps the Patriots will be able to have the ball last to win the game? The Chiefs have just one time out and the two-minute warning remaining, so maybe New England can control the clock.
Wow. What a finish. Tom Brady found James White for 16 yards and Rob Gronkowski for 39 to get inside the Chiefs 10-yard line. The Patriots ran out the clock to the final seconds and Stephen Gostkowski connected on the 28-yard field goal as time expired for a 43-40 victory.
That’s incredible and the Patriots offense had an amazing day without a single punt. Tom Brady wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough as he spread the football around to seven different receivers, including 97 yards for Rob Gronkowski, 78 yards for Chris Hogan, 54 yards for Julian Edelman, and 42 yards for Josh Gordon. Sony Michel finished the day with 106 yards and 2 touchdowns and James White added 92 yards from scrimmage. It was a perfectly well-rounded day at the office.
The defense was great in the first half and brutal in the second half as they allowed Kareem Hunt to gain 185 yards from scrimmage. Tyreek Hill pitched in 142 yards and three (!!!) touchdowns and Travis Kelce added 61 yards, most in the first half. There were multiple miscommunications as Hill got behind Jason McCourty, Devin McCourty, and Duron Harmon on multiple occasions.
Still, there was only one punt all game and it was by the Chiefs late in the game. Dont’a Hightower had a pretty strong game, as did Trey Flowers, as New England overcame the absence of Malcom Brown to play well enough up front.
The Patriots are 4-2, lead the AFC East, handed the Chiefs their first loss of the year, and are currently the #2 seed in the conference. The Patriots are in a great position for the rest of the year, especially holding the tiebreaker over Kansas City.