]()Still, with Brady only completing 22 of 40 passes for 248 yards and a miserable 42.5 passer rating, the Patriots defense stepped up its game in the second half and actually gave the team a chance after falling to a 19-3 halftime score.
The Chiefs had countless chances in the first half to really put this one away early, but the Patriots defense held them to three just enough to give the team hope going into the fourth quarter.
The Kansas City offense predictably had its way through the air with Trent Green going for 323 yards on 19 of 26 passing and a touchdown -- good for a 127.6 passer rating.
Stopping Larry Johnson was likely more on the mind of Eric Mangini and his defense but the big running back was impressive, rushing for 119 yards on 31 carries.
With Brady throwing two interceptions and the Chiefs getting into the New England red zone four times, New England was lucky to get to the locker room down only 19-3 after 30 minutes.
After holding the Patriots to zero yards on the game's opening series, the Chiefs drove down the field for the game's first score, a 1-yard Johnson run. The scoring drive was set up by a 42-yard Green to Kennison bomb. Asante Samuel was in tight, single coverage down the right sideline but never made a play for the ball and Kennison made the catch. Other than a 9-yard catch by Gonzalez, the rest of the work was done by Johnson who carried seven times for 30 yards.
As the first quarter ended, Kansas City was deep in New England territory again, second and 12 from the 14. An earlier Patriots drive ended when Brady's pass deflected off Deion Branch's hands and into Greg Wesley's of the Chiefs and that led to the drive the Chiefs were currently on.
Starting on their own 25, the Chiefs mixed pass and run, including a huge 21-yarder to Gonzalez on third and 5 to the Patriots 35. Once at the Patriots 14, Artrell Hawkins was flagged for interference on Gonzalez and with a first and goal from the 4, it looked like the Chiefs were poised to go by two touchdowns. That was until Ty Warren dropped Johnson for a 3-yard loss on second down and Green, under heavy pressure, threw incomplete on third. Kansas City settled for a 25-yard field goal to go up 10-0 in what was a moral victory for the Patriots defense up to that point.
Instead of taking advantage of the defensive stop, Brady followed by chucking his second interception of the day, this time slightly overthrowing Troy Brown on third and 9 from his own 26. Once again, it was Wesley who was the recipient of the tipped ball, returning it to the Patriots 25. Credit the Patriots defense; despite getting to the 4-yard line again, it held the Chiefs to a 20-yard field goal to keep the game within reason at 13-0. It was Larry Izzo, in at linebacker, making the third down play on a pass intended for Gonzalez in the end zone.
]()New England finally made a drive count on its next try. Brady started things off with a screen to Daniel Graham who took the ball and most of the Chiefs defenders on a 22-yard ride to the Kansas City 46. Five plays later, Brown caught his 500th career pass for 25 yards to the 9. That was as far as the drive would go as Patrick Pass was dropped for a 2-yard loss and Brady was incomplete twice setting up Adam Vinatieri for a 29-yard attempt which he made.
At the two-minute warning the Chiefs were threatening yet again. This time they had driven down the field picking up big chunks along the way. Samie Parker caught passes of 17 and 20 while Johnson continued to grind away (19 carries for 68 first half yards). Amazingly, the Patriots defense again held, despite the Chiefs getting to the Patriots 15-yard line. The 33-yard field goal made the score 16-3.
The Patriots had a chance to creep a little closer at the end of the half but a Jared Allen sack of Brady on third down forced New England to punt. In what little time was left -- around a minute -- Kansas City managed to get back within field goal range where Lawrence Tynes knocked home a 47-yarder to make the halftime score 19-3, Chiefs.
Kansas City didn't wait long before sticking a dagger in New England in the second half. On his second possession, Green went long to Dante Hall for 52 yards and a touchdown with Ellis Hobbs in coverage. The play came immediately after Eugene Wilson was flagged for pass interference to set up a first and 10 at the Chiefs 48.
New England got the seven points back right away with a 12-play, 69 yard drive. Brady fired a bullet to Graham on third and 12, good for 15 yards, that the tight end made a nice, finger-tip catch on. That play kept the drive alive at midfield. Brady followed with an 18-yard completion to Dwight. From there, Patrick Pass ran for 20 yards on two plays. Mike Cloud came in the game for a 5-yard run to the 1-yard line and then it was back to Pass for the touchdown.
Up 26-10, the Chiefs began to pound Johnson, who went over 100 yards rushing on the day during the next drive. More telling was his average per carry began to creep up to well over 4 yards. But down at the Patriots 21 the rain started coming down in sheets. Johnson was given the ball for the sixth time on the drive and this time he coughed it up. The play was challenged by the Chiefs but the fumble call stood. Richard Seymour forced the play and Warren recovered on the Chiefs 22.
]()The rain actually started to let up but the Patriots offense did not. Brady went to work, hitting Branch twice for 20 and 16 yards. At the Chiefs 26, Dwight made a leaping catch to haul down a 20 yarder to the Kansas City 6. Branch caught another pass for 5 yards to the 1 and on second down, Brady found Christian Fauria in the back of the end zone for the score.
Down by 10, the Patriots went for two but the Chiefs were up to the test, giving Brady nowhere to throw, leaving the score 26-16 with 10:03 left to play.
Dante Hall tried to put a crimp in New England's comeback hopes with a 39-yard return of the ensuing kickoff to the Chiefs 45. Still, New England held the Chiefs to its 44 yard line, forcing them to only their second punt of the game.
With 5:46 left, New England needed to score quickly, even if it was only for three.
Going no-huddle, Brady passed his first test converting a fourth and 3 with a 6-yard pass to Branch. It was not to be, however. Brady's next pass was high to Branch down the middle and Wesley came up with his third interception of Brady on the day.
Despite the setback, give credit to the Patriots defense. It held the Chiefs to three plays with a Rosevelt Colvin sack of Green, to give the offense the ball back.
Brady hit Heath Evans for 10 and then Dwight for 20. The next play pretty much encapsulated the game for New England. Down on the Chiefs 34, Brady found Dwight again, but the ball bounced off his hands, high enough for Sammy Knight to come up with it -- Brady's fourth pick, although clearly no one could fault the quarterback on this one.
That ended it with the Patriots dropping to 6-5 on the season and coming home to face the Jets next Sunday.
Notes: Patriots inactives: Corey Dillon; Kevin Faulk; Matt Light; Billy Yates; Bethel Johnson; David Givens; Dan Klecko; Matt Cassel (3rd QB).
Chiefs inactives: Jerome Woods; Ronnie Cruz; Alphonso Hodge; Will Svitek; Jeremy Parquet; Kevin Simpson; Ryan Sims; Damon Huard (3rd QB).