Patriots rally in second half but can't get by Chiefs at home, fall 23-16

Jeff Howe and Tom Leyden

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots suffered their second consecutive loss on Sunday evening, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-16, at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots, who trailed 20-7 at halftime, mounted a second half comeback that ended on a fourth down incompletion in the end zone.

The final offensive play for the Patriots (10-3) came with just over a minute remaining in the contest. Tom Brady threw a pass for Julian Edelman in the left side of the end zone, but the ball was batted away by Bashaud Breeland to deliver Kansas City (9-4) the win.

The Patriots were able to climb back from a 13-point halftime deficit in large part because of their defense, which allowed just a field goal in the second half.

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A blocked punt by Nate Ebner with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Brandon Bolden two plays later. That score cut the Kansas City lead to 10.

On the ensuing Chiefs drive, Devin McCourty forced a fumble that Stephon Gilmore recovered.

The cornerback looked to have significant running room ahead of him, but the officials had ruled the play dead, saying that Travis Kelce was down by contact before the turnover. And while the call was reversed on review, the Patriots chance to return the ball deep into Kansas City territory was nullified.

New England proceeded to march down the field and looked to score on a 15-yard catch and run by N'Keal Harry.

However, the receiver was ruled out of bounds at the Chiefs' three-yard line despite replay showing Harry's feet remained in bounds. Already having used their two challenges, the Patriots were unable to initiate a review on the call.

New England settled for a field goal four plays later and was unable to score a game-tying touchdown on their final drive of the game.

The lone score of the first half for New England came on the Patriots opening drive when Brady hit Julian Edelman on a 37-yard touchdown pass off of a flea-flicker. But after the five-play, 83-yard drive that took about two and a half minutes, the Chiefs controlled the pace of the half.

Patrick Mahomes and company scored 23 unanswered points, including a pair of second quarter touchdowns that gave the Chiefs a 20-7 lead going into the second half.

Mecole Hardman hauled in a 48-yard strike from Mahomes and Kelce ran in a direct snap from four yards out for Kansas City touchdowns on back-to-back drives in the second quarter. Kelce's score capped off a Chiefs drive that began when Brady was intercepted on his first pass attempt of the quarter.

Brady ended the day 19-of-36 with 169 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Mahomes was 26-for-40 in the passing game, amassing 283 passing yards while throwing for a touchdown and an interception.

New England will take on the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday at 1 p.m. in Ohio.