Best and worst: Chiefs 42, Patriots 27
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on the field before the game, he got all the boos, catcalls and derision Patriots fans had been waiting to unload for a solid 30 months.
MOST SURPRISING UNFORCED ERROR
Tom Brady missing high and outside on a lob to Dwayne Allen on the Patriots first offensive play. They would have gained 20.
MOST PREDICTABLE FOLLOW-UP
After the misfire, Brady was 3-for-3 for 43 yards, picked up a 12-yard DPI on a back-shoulder throw to Brandin Cooks then threw a laser to Rob Gronkowski that Gronk couldn’t come up with in the end zone.
GREAT CATCH FOR NAUGHT
Gronk’s diving attempt at the back of the end zone was a signal that the athleticism and body control are still there after playing in just six games in 2016 before back surgery.
DO YOU TAKE THE THREE THERE?
After coming up with a Kareem Hunt fumble, the Patriots were in prime position to add to their 7-0 lead but on a fourth-and-1 from the Chiefs 10, Mike Gillislee got stacked up and the Pats came away pointless.
PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE
On the Chiefs’ 12-play, 90-yard drive that tied the game, 7-7, Kansas City didn’t face a third down until the 12th play of the drive. The Chiefs picked up 9, 14, 8, 9 11, 18 and 0 on the first down plays they ran.
THIRD AND WHOAAAA!
After the Chiefs fell behind 17-7, they faced a key third-and-5. Alex Smith, surveying, was unable to find an open receiver. When he attempted to scurry and buy time he slipped to the turf and took a sack. That was followed by a Chiefs special teamer, De’Anthony Thomas, running into Danny Amendola and the Pats took over at their 40 late in the third with a chance to turn the screws.
GOING LONG AGAIN
When the Patriots weren’t able to mount a drive before the half and had to punt, KC took over at its own 8-yard line after the punt. A penalty made it first-and-14 from their 4 with 2:29 left. But the Chiefs again chipped away and got downfield with some key scrambling completions from Smith until an end zone pass interference (close call) went against Malcolm Butler and the Chiefs punched it in to make it 17-14 going into the break.
With Devin McCourty and Stephon Gilmore stationed on the left side of the Patriots defense, Tyreek Hill scurried past Gilmore who gave up the chase apparently thinking McCourty had things taken care of. He didn’t as he’d drifted toward Travis Kelce in the seam and Hill had a 75-yard touchdown.
Dont'a Hightower got rolled up on by Mitch Morse in the third quarter, caving in his right knee and leaving him in a pup tent getting examined by the Patriots medical staff. He returned to ride on the stationary bike and test it warily but it’s going to be a concern going forward.
SORRY TERRANCE, JUST BUSINESS
With the very talented Terrance Mitchell on one side, the Chiefs right cornerback, got abused by Brandin Cooks most of the night to the tune of three defensive pass interference calls and a 54-yard rainmaking bomb from Tom Brady in the third quarter.
THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE!
The Chiefs schemed it up to get Kareem Hunt 1-on-1 on a post to a vacated middle of the field and – with LB/DE Cassius Marsh in pursuit – it was no contest and it was soon a 78-yard touchdown. That gave Kansas City the lead, and it was all downhill for the Pats from there.