Final, Patriots 43-40: What an incredible football game that was.
A 39-yard pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski set up Stephen Gostkowski for a game-winning 28-yard field goal as time expired that handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.
In a game that more than lived up to the hype, the Patriots and Chiefs combined for 83 points, 946 yards of total offense and just one punt.
The Patriots, who improved to 4-2 with the win, will visit the Chicago Bears next Sunday at Soldier Field.
Fourth quarter, 3:03, 40-40: And just like that, we’re all tied up, thanks to a 75-yard touchdown catch by Tyreek Hill.
Hill was wide open on the play and easily outraced safety Duron Harmon en route to the end zone. It was his third touchdown of the game.
Fourth quarter, 3:15, Patriots 40-33: A 42-yard catch-and-run by a previously quiet Rob Gronkowski set Stephen Gostkowski up for a 50-yard field goal that extended the Patriots’ lead to seven.
Gronk’s big gain — which came on just his second catch of the night — featured a vicious stiff-arm to the face of safety Ron Parker.
The Chiefs burned two timeouts during the drive, leaving them with one to spare as they look to mount a comeback.
Fourth quarter, 3:50, Patriots 37-33: Hey, look! A punt!
The Patriots followed up Tom Brady’s touchdown by forcing a hugely important three-and-out, resulting in the first punt of the night for either team.
Fourth quarter, 5:25, Patriots 37-33: Another appearance by the Clydesdale put the Patriots back ahead.
After connecting with wide receiver Chris Hogan for a 42-yard pass on third-and-1 earlier in the drive, Tom Brady scrambled his way into the end zone from 4 yards out on third-and-4 for his second rushing touchdown in as many games.
This game certainly has lived up to the hype.
Right tackle Marcus Cannon, who left the game with a head injury, officially has been ruled out.
Fourth quarter, 8:38, Chiefs 33-30: The Chiefs are back in the lead for the first time since the opening quarter.
Patrick Mahomes found Tyreek Hill for a 1-yard touchdown pass after Tremon Smith ripped off a 97-yard kickoff return.
Devin McCourty was the one who chased Smith down to prevent a touchdown, but he also was in coverage on Hill on his score. It was the fourth touchdown pass the veteran safety has allowed in the last two games.
Hill and Kareem Hunt have combined for seven touchdowns in the last two Patriots-Chiefs matchups.
Fourth quarter, 10:22, Patriots 30-26: The Patriots added a bit of insurance with a 39-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
Marcus Cannon was not on the field during the drive and is being evaluated for a head injury. LaAdrian Waddle took his place at right tackle.
Third quarter, 0:56, Patriots 27-26: Uncharacteristically poor ball security by Tom Brady helped the Chiefs’ trim the Patriots’ lead to one.
Brady attempted to keep a play alive on third-and-10 rather than throwing the ball away or tucking it and taking a sack, allowing Chiefs rookie Breeland Speaks to slap it out of his hand. Kansas City recovered, and four plays later, Patrick Mahomes hooked up with Tyreek Hill on a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid chose not to go for two after the score, accepting the one-point deficit with more than a quarter left to play.
Third quarter, 3:36, Patriots 27-19: Forcing the Chiefs to settle for field goals is a good way to beat them, and the Patriots have had a lot of success in that area tonight.
Kansas City’s latest drive stalled at the Patriots’ 12-yard line, with linebacker Elandon Roberts batting down a pass on third down to send Harrison Butker and the field-goal unit out again.
The Chiefs successfully converted on fourth-and-inches earlier in the drive and have gotten some hard running from Kareem Hunt, who’s up to 182 yards from scrimmage on 12 touches.
Neither team has punted tonight.
Third quarter, 7:17, Patriots 27-16: A 12-play, 65-yard Patriots drive ended in a 24-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal after passes to Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon in the end zone fell incomplete.
Gordon has been Tom Brady’s favorite receiver tonight, leading all Patriots players with seven targets and four catches. He caught passes of 11 and 9 yards earlier in the drive.
Sony Michel also continues to rip through the Chiefs’ defense. He’s up to 91 yards on 16 carries.
Third quarter, 13:27, Patriots 24-16: After keeping the Chiefs’ explosive offense in check throughout the first half, the Patriots’ defense finally buckled three plays into the third quarter.
Facing a third-and-2, Patrick Mahomes found running back Kareem Hunt streaking down the right sideline for a 67-yard touchdown. Hunt beat cornerback Jason McCourty, who seemed to hesitate for a moment as Mahomes released the ball.
Halftime, Patriots 24-9: The Patriots closed out the first half with another huge red-zone stand.
Patrick Mahomes guided the Chiefs’ down to the Patriots’ 20 as time wound down in the second quarter — converting a third-and-15 in the process — but made a poor decision to force a pass to Travis Kelce in the end zone. After bouncing off multiple players, the ball settled in the arms of safety Duron Harmon for the Patriots’ second interception of the half.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who picked of another Mahomes pass earlier, provided strong pressure on the play.
This has been a banner night for the Patriots’ defense thus far:
Second quarter, 1:57, Patriots 24-9: The Patriots extended their lead before halftime, with Sony Michel following fullback James Develin into the end zone from 1 yard out.
It was the second touchdown of the game for Michel, who has racked up 270 rushing yards and four touchdowns over his last 10 quarters of football.
The rookie’s latest scoring plunge capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive, the biggest play of which came courtesy of Josh Gordon. Gordon drew a defensive pass interference call on cornerback Steven Nelson that picked up 37 yards and set the Patriots up at the Chiefs’ 1-yard line.
Gordon was shaken up on the play, however, and was examined in the sideline medical tent after leaving the field. He remained on the sideline after emerging, though, and appeared in good spirits as he chatted with teammates on the bench.
Second quarter, 6:21, Patriots 17-9: The Chiefs’ first four drives of this game have yielded just nine total points.
Stout red-zone defense forced Kansas City to settle for yet another field goal after driving 69 yards in 11 plays. Stephon Gilmore made the pivotal defensive play, breaking up a pass intended for Sammy Watkins in the end zone on third-and-goal from the 6. It was Patrick Mahomes’ first time targeting Gilmore tonight.
Second quarter, 12:52, Patriots 17-6: Welcome back to the end zone, Julian Edelman.
The Patriots capped their latest possession with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Edelman, who beat cornerback Kendall Fuller downfield on third-and-10. It was Edelman’s first touchdown reception since the 2016 AFC Championship Game.
New England continues to run the ball at will, averaging 6.0 yards per carry so far tonight. Even backup Kenjon Barner is contributing, carrying the ball three times for 16 yards on the latest series.
First quarter, 3:25, Patriots 10-6: The Patriots gifted the Chiefs excellent field position at their own 45 with a botched squib kick but again were able to keep Kansas City out of the end zone.
After a 25-yard catch-and-run by Kareem Hunt brought the Chiefs down to the Patriots’ 30, Patrick Mahomes missed on what would have been a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce, who’d beaten safety Patrick Chung on the play. That incompletion forced Andy Reid’s club to settle for its second field goal of the game.
First quarter, 4:57, Patriots 10-3: After losing Kareem Hunt in coverage on the Patriots’ first defensive series, Dont’a Hightower began their second series by picking off a Patrick Mahomes pass and returning it to the Chiefs’ 4-yard line.
Mahomes, who was trying to hit Kelce over the middle on the play, never saw Hightower. Defensive end Trey Flowers delivered a whopper of a block on tackle Eric Fisher during the runback.
Sony Michel plunged his way into the end zone on the next play to give the Patriots their first lead of the night.
First quarter, 5:18, 3-3: A defensive holding penalty against Rob Gronkowski, two Chris Hogan catches and some hard running by Sony Michel brought the Patriots into field-goal range, and Stephen Gostkowski converted from 48 yards out to tie the score at three apiece.
Michel already has 43 rushing yards on just six carries. Tom Brady, meanwhile, is just 3 of 7 for 29 yards.
First quarter, 9:05, Chiefs 3-0: Two misfires by Patrick Mahomes prevented the Chiefs from finding the end zone on their first possession.
Running back Kareem Hunt badly beat linebacker Dont’a Hightower on first-and-10 from the Patriots’ 26, and wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a step on slot corner Jonathan Jones two plays later, but the young QB was unable to connect with either.
The Chiefs wound up settling for a Harrison Butker field goal to open the scoring.
The Patriots also had difficulty covering Travis Kelce on the drive, with the star tight end catching two passes on two targets for 26 yards.
First quarter, 12:31, 0-0: The Patriots moved the ball effectively on the game’s opening possession but handed the ball to the Chiefs near midfield after failing to convert on fourth-and-3.
Rob Gronkowski dropped what would have been a first down one play earlier, and an incompletion to Josh Gordon resulted in the turnover on downs. There appeared to be some miscommunication between Gordon and quarterback Tom Brady on the play.
Brady targeted Gordon three times on the drive, hitting him on a slant for a 12-yard gain on the first offensive play.
First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: The Chiefs won the opening coin toss and elected to defer. It’ll be Patriots ball first as we get things started here on “Sunday Night Football.”
8:01 p.m.: Eric Rowe is active tonight for the first time since Week 2, but it appears Jason McCourty will continue to start at cornerback opposite Stephon Gilmore. That’s no real surprise given how well McCourty has played of late. It’ll be interesting to see how Rowe is used tonight.
7:32 p.m.: Cordarrelle Patterson and Kenjon Barner are practicing returning kickoffs in warmups. We typically see Sony Michel back there with Patterson, so this change is interesting. Perhaps the Patriots are looking to reduce Michel’s workload after he was limited this week with a knee injury.
6:52 p.m.: Here are the Patriots’ inactives for tonight:
— Malcom Brown (knee) and John Simon (shoulder) both are inactive after leaving last Thursday’s game with injuries. Defensive end Derek Rivers draws back into the lineup for the first time since Week 1.
— Cornerback Keion Crossen getting the nod over J.C. Jackson is a bit of a surprise. Jackson had an interception two weeks ago against the Dolphins and has played more on defense than Crossen this season.
— Cornerback Eric Rowe is active after missing the last three games with a groin injury.
— All three Patriots running backs (Sony Michel, James White and Kenjon Barner) are active.
— Wide receiver Chris Hogan is active. The Patriots will have all of their offensive skill players available tonight.
6:30 p.m.: Running back Sony Michel is among the dozen or so Patriots players warming up with strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera, a good indication that he’ll likely suit up tonight.
Wide receiver Chris Hogan (questionable, thigh) also is warming up.
2:30 p.m. ET: Good afternoon from Gillette Stadium, where the 3-2 New England Patriots are preparing to host the 5-0 Kansas City Chiefs in the most highly anticipated matchup of the NFL season thus far.
The Chiefs cruised to a 42-27 victory in their last visit to Foxboro, Mass., and they’ve dispatched each of their first five opponents this season, defeating the Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Patriots, meanwhile, are riding a two-game winning streak after totaling 76 points in victories over the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts. Their No. 1 challenge tonight will be slowing down Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and the rest of K.C.’s league-leading offense.
Kansas City’s defense has a few dangerous players — pass rusher Dee Ford chief among them — but is dealing with a slew of injuries. Linebacker Justin Houston and safeties Eric Berry and Eric Murray all are not expected to play.
Nine Patriots players are listed as questionable, including running back Sony Michel, who reportedly will be a game-time decision as he deals with a knee injury.
Kickoff for this primetime contest is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. Be sure to check back throughout the afternoon for full pregame coverage, and tune in to our live “Pregame Chat” at 6 p.m. NESN.com and NESN’s Facebook page.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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