Quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 283 yards Sunday, and the Kansas City Chiefs clinched their fourth consecutive AFC West title by outlasting the New England Patriots 23-16 at Foxborough, Mass.
The result snapped New England’s 21-game home winning streak (counting postseason outcomes), the longest home string in franchise history. The Patriots (10-3) lost their second straight game overall and dropped a full game behind Baltimore, which has the head-to-head tiebreaker, in the race for the AFC’s top seed.
Tom Brady drove the Patriots 68 yards to the Kansas City 5 on their final possession, but Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland broke up a fourth-and-3 pass intended for Julian Edelman in the end zone with 1:06 remaining.
The Chiefs (9-4) scored 23 consecutive points and went up 23-7 on a 41-yard field goal by Harrison Butker early in the third quarter.
After that, Kansas City had a punt blocked, lost a fumble and went three-and-out twice as the Patriots rallied behind their stingy defense. The blocked punt, by Nate Ebner, enabled the Pats to to end a string of seven scoreless possessions, as they needed just two plays to cover 19 yards and crawl within 23-13.
A 29-yard field goal by New England’s Nick Folk with 11:42 remaining was the last of the scoring. Patriots wideout N’Keal Harry appeared to score a touchdown four plays before the field goal, but he was incorrectly ruled out of bounds, and New England was out of challenges.
Mahomes completed 26 of 40 passes with one touchdown and one interception, hitting tight end Travis Kelce for seven catches and 66 yards. Brady countered with only 169 passing yards, going 19 of 36 with a score and a pick.
The Chiefs became the first team to visit New England and lead in the first half since Week 6 last season when Kansas City did it then, too.
They did so by closing the half with 20 unanswered points, amassing 249 yards, just 9 short of the Patriots’ average allowed per game, to lead 20-7 at halftime.
Mahomes, who started 0-for-4 and struggled with a sore right (throwing) hand, found Mecole Hardman for a 48-yard touchdown pass to give the Chiefs a 10-7 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter. Kelce also scored on a 4-yard rush after lining up as the quarterback in the wildcat formation. Butker added field goals of 48 and 31 yards to cap the first-half scoring.
A 37-yard flea-flicker from Brady to Edelman capped the Patriots’ first possession, which included two pass-interference calls against the Chiefs for 39 yards to convert two third downs.