By Neta Davis // @ND622
Thursday, September 7: 42-27 Win
“It’s happening again—another national game and another national embarrassment,” I thought as the New England Patriots marched down the field and easily scored the first touchdown of the game.
And then RB Kareem Hunt, very talked up in the Kansas City press, fumbled his first NFL carry–the epitome of a facepalm moment. I grimaced as the quarter continued and the Patriots seemed to be on offense again instantly, marching down the field for their second touchdown. When replay showed the catch wasn’t in control and the six points nullified, it gave me a little peace.
Then, the Kansas City Chiefs defense made a spectacular stop on a fourth-and-one play. “Well, at least the defense is looking respectful,” I admitted. Then the Chiefs went 90 yards and scored, tying the game, and holding the Patriots to a field goal on their next score but allowing another touchdown 15 minutes later. Right before the half, KC scored another touchdown. Now the butterflies in my stomach were going to town.
There are a few teams in the NFL that haven’t had it easy nor made it easy on themselves, never meeting their potential and not pulling through in the critical moments like key games and playoffs. The Chiefs are one of those teams. Having not won a Super Bowl in almost 50 years and very rarely making it through to the higher eschelons of the playoffs, they have deservedly earned the adjective “Chiefsiest”—as in last year’s Pittsburgh game was the Chiefsiest thing ever—developing and playing to your potential during the season and then putting on a disappointing performance when least affordable.
But, something happened at Foxborough. The Chiefs started believing in themselves, and kept themselves in the game. Keeping the score within a winning gap through the first half. And Hunt kept getting the ball and atoning; Alex Smith had something to prove, and boy did they both shine.
The whole team was at peak performance in the second half. The O Line was unbelievable—I don’t ever recall Smith having so much time consistently throughout the game so that he could check all his progressions. WR Tyreek Hill even called his own play—that 45-yard pass that turned into a 75-yard touchdown—he told Coach Andy Reid he would score if they called that play.
They did not hold on to that lead for long (Patriots would answer with a touchdown and field goal), but then it happened—Smith connected to Hunt for a 78-yard pass and the defense stopped a fourth-and-inches stand and took over offense on downs, and Hunt scored his third touchdown, and Gillette stadium went quiet as Chiefs led 35-27. A few minutes later, another 6 points by RB Charcandrick West locked in the win for the Chiefs at 42 points.
All in all, Kansas City had 537 yards (185 run / 352 passing) of total offense consisting of three 90 or more yard drives. Smith’s QB rating of 148.7 was more than twice of QB Tom Brady. Hunt, who started off with a low bar, ended walking off the field with the best rookie debut performance in 47 years.
Kansas City is now the team to have scored the most points against the Patriots during Belichick’s reign. Oh, and most recent second biggest loss? Hmmm, that also would be to Kansas City in 2014 at 41 points. And the 537 yards of offense? Yep, most ever against New England.
Maybe the team that played the Patriots can be the new “Chiefsiest” thing ever.
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