New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 17: Jerick McKinnon #1 of the Kansas City Chiefs dives over Marte Mapu #30 of the New England Patriots while scoring a receiving touchdown during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots hung around with the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half, but cooled off as Patrick Mahomes and K.C. pulled away in the second half, handing the Pats their 11th loss of the season by a 27-17 final.

Mahomes went 27-of-37 for 305 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, getting the Chiefs back on track after two straight losses. Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe was 23-of-31 for 180 yards, one touchdown and one interception in defeat.

The Patriots briefly took the lead in the second quarter, but the Chiefs then rattled off 17 unanswered points. Mahomes completed passes to 10 different receivers, while running back Jerick McKinnon scored both receiving and passing touchdowns. The Chiefs ultimately made a few more plays on offense, and the Patriots made a few too many mistakes to keep up with the superior club.

New England briefly had a chance to rally in the fourth quarter, after a Jahlani Tavai interception turned into a Kevin Harris touchdown run. But the Chiefs killed about half of the remaining clock on the following possession, then forced a turnover on downs and ran the clock out from there.

The Patriots are now 3-11 on the 2023 season. Their final three games are on the road at the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills, then at home against the New York Jets.

Patriots-Chiefs Video Highlights

The game started with some lowlights, namely a missed field goal each between Patriots rookie Chad Ryland and the Chiefs’ Harrison Butker. Before Ryland’s miss, Zappe went 7-of-7 on the drive to set up the field foal try, including a 20-yard completion to DeVante Parker.

After taking over at the Patriots’ 31-yard line, Mahomes drove the Chiefs down the field and into the end zone in four plays. Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire got to the red zone with a 48-yard catch-and-run. For the touchdown, McKinnon took the direct snap then pitched it ahead to receiver Rashee Rice.

  • The Patriots were able to answer that touchdown two possessions later, with the same connection that powered them to a win over the Steelers. First, Zappe made an improbable pass to Parker for another big gain, keeping the drive alive on third down.

  • But to cap the drive, Zappe went back to tight end Hunter Henry, who caught two touchdowns in Pittsburgh. The 16-yard score made it 7-7 late in the second quarter.

  • The Pats followed the touchdown up with a takeaway. On the first play of the ensuing Chiefs drive, rookie Marte Mapu snatched the ball away at the catch point against tight end Blake Bell for his first career interception.

  • The Patriots almost grabbed a go-ahead touchdown, but the score by Henry got called back due to an offensive holding penalty on left tackle Conor McDermott. The Patriots did grab their first and only lead, though, as Ryland converted from 25 yards.

    Mahomes, meanwhile, answered that with another touchdown to put the Chiefs back on top. He completed passes of 31 and 20 yards as part of an 11-play, 75-yard drive, finished off with a short touchdown catch-and-run by McKinnon. The Chiefs went to halftime up 14-10.

  • To start the third quarter, Mahomes spread the ball around en route to a 29-yard field goal by Butker to make it 17-10. Then, on the Patriots’ first offensive play of the quarter, Zappe forced a throw that Willie Gay intercepted, setting the Chiefs up at the Patriots’ 7-yard line. Edwards-Helaire finished it off with a touchdown catch-and-run, making it 24-10.

  • Harris’ touchdown run was accomplished with stout blocking by center David Andrews and left guard Atonio Mafi. The latter did an admirable job filling in for Cole Strange, who was carted off with a possible serious knee injury in the second quarter.

    Up Next: The Patriots will try to get to four wins in a good challenge on the road against the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Check out all of Matt’s content.

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