Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Chiefs Still Showcase their Warts, but Also Their promise in 27-17 Victory over Patriots




KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs beat the New England Patriots on Sunday in spite of themselves.

It’s a trick they can pull off against a three-win team, even on the road. But probably not one against a team in the postseason.

So that is where the Chiefs — that equally befuddling and beguiling Super Bowl champions — finds themselves with three games left in the regular season.

They improved to 9-5 with their 27-17 win on Sunday in Foxborough, Massachusetts, but still find themselves staring up at Miami (10-4) and Baltimore (11-3) in the AFC playoff picture with three regular-season games to go.

They also find themselves making the same mistakes that have cost them all season: penalties, dropped passes, turnovers and mental errors, and often several of them happening on a single disastrous play.

That was certainly the case for Kadarius Toney, whose offside penalty cost them so dearly the previous week against Buffalo, taking away a go-ahead touchdown with just over a minute left. For the second time this season, Toney not only dropped a pass but had it picked off, and just like Detroit in the opener the Patriots turned the turnover into points.

He wasn’t the only issue Sunday, though. Right tackle Jawaan Taylor, who has been penalized six more times than any player in the NFL, was flagged again for a false start. Rashee Rice, one of their rare offensive bright spots, fumbled again but was able to get back on it. And drop-prone Skyy Moore was fortunate to have a lost fumble wiped away by a penalty.

The same culprits that have made the same mistakes all season.

“We’ve had great spots and we’ve had spots where we’ve struggled,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “We’ve just got to continue to make it a full game. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Still, the Chiefs had lost two straight and were in desperate need of a win, and they got it. And they have three winnable games to finish against the Raiders, Bengals and Chargers — three teams with backup QBs and two of them led by interim coaches.

“When you’re as close as the AFC is right now, wins are hard to get and you better enjoy each one,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “They’re very important, and so this one (against New England), no different than that because of the situation.”


The Chiefs had four sacks against the Patriots but the one by Jaylen Watson stood out. It was the latest example of the way Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been able to supplement his pass rush by blitzing from the secondary, where their cornerbacks and safeties have produced seven sacks this season.

“We’re a pressure team,” Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr. said. “From every position on the field, we got a sack. To actually capitalize on the plays being called, and to execute the way we did, there’s no weakness there on the defense.”


The Chiefs played without Isiah Pacheco for the second straight week after their leading rusher had “a cleanup” procedure on his ailing shoulder. And their ground game has gone nowhere without him. Clyde Edwards-Helaire carried 11 times for 37 yards, even though he made some big plays in the passing game, and Kansas City finished with 43 yards on 20 total carries.


Rice has become Mahomes’ go-to target, even ahead of longtime and dependable tight end Travis Kelce. The rookie had a career-best nine catches for 91 yards and a touchdown, the fourth time in six games he has reached the end zone. Rice has had at least seven receptions in four straight games and could hit 1,000 yards by the end of the season.

“You know, his game just keeps going up, man,” Kelce said. “I’m proud of the way he’s been able to handle the ups and downs of the season. Right now, he’s playing great ball.”


It’s hard to believe that Toney’s stock could fall any more than it did following the previous week’s penalty against Buffalo. But at this point, Toney is not producing nearly enough to balance out the negative plays dragging down the Kansas City offense.


Kelce had an elbow “stinger” but should be OK. Moore had to leave Sunday’s game with swelling in his knee.


2 — The number of ways Jerick McKinnon got the Chiefs into the end zone Sunday. He caught a TD pass and threw a TD pass, joining Curtis McClinton (1963) and Tyler Thigpen (2008) as the only players in club history to do that in the same game.


The Chiefs return home to face the Raiders on Christmas Day.