Kansas City Chiefs clinched their fourth consecutive AFC West title by edging out the New England Patriots 23-16 in Foxborough, ending their 21-game home win streak.
The defeats is the second straight for the Patriots (10-3), who have now dropped a full game behind the Baltimore Ravens (11-2), who also hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, in the race for the AFC’s top seed.
The Chiefs (9-4) scored 23 consecutive points after the Patriots scored a touchdown on their opening drive – Tom Brady finding Julian Edelman on a flea flicker for 37 yards – but they then let the home team back into the game late on.
Kansas City had a punt blocked, lost a fumble and went three-and-out twice as the Patriots rallied behind their stingy defense. The blocked punt by Nate Ebner helped the Pats to end a string of six scoreless possessions, with Brandon Bolden running in from 10 yards out to cut the score to 23-13.
That lead was chipped away at further with a Nick Folk field goal to make it 23-16, and Brady then drove the Patriots 68 yards to the Kansas City five-yard line on their final possession.
But. with one minute remaining, Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland broke up a pass intended for Julian Edelman in the endzone on fourth down to end the contest.
The Patriots will point to a number of officiating calls not going their way, contributing to the loss. Before Folk’s field goal, rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry appeared to score a touchdown, but he was incorrectly ruled out of bounds and New England was out of challenges.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards with one touchdown and one interception, hitting tight end Travis Kelce for seven catches and 66 yards. Brady countered with only 169 passing yards, going 19 of 36 with a score and a pick.
Mahomes started the game 0-for-4, seemingly struggling with a sore right throwing hand, but he eventually found his stride and Mecole Hardman for a 48-yard touchdown strike to see his team into a lead they would not relinquish in the second quarter.
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