Kansas City make most of Cam Newton absence to sink Patriots

Patrick Mahomes drives Chiefs to another 4-0 start as New England miss quarterback

Patrick Mahomes inspired Kansas City to victory over the New England Patriots. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty

Patrick Mahomes inspired Kansas City to victory over the New England Patriots. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty

 

Patrick Mahomes drove Kansas City to two touchdowns in the final 16 minutes Monday night as the undefeated Chiefs downed the visiting New England Patriots 26-10.

Mahomes passed for 236 yards, going 19 of 29 with two TD tosses.

The Chiefs became the first team in NFL history to record 4-0 starts in four consecutive seasons. Mahomes improved to 11-0 as a starter in September games.

Kansas City sealed the outcome on a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown by safety Tyrann Mathieu after a pass slipped through the hands of Patriots receiver Julian Edelman with 8.48 remaining.

The game was rescheduled from Sunday because both teams reported positive Covid-19 tests, including one for Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton.

Brian Hoyer subbed for Newton but failed to engineer a score on two drives into the red zone. Hoyer was replaced in the third quarter by third-stringer Jarrett Stidham, who engineered a touchdown drive on his first possession before throwing two interceptions as New England (2-2) fell two games behind the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East.

Patriots running back Sony Michel also missed the trip because of a quad injury, but Damien Harris came off injured reserve to gain 100 yards on 17 carries. Harris had missed the first three games due to a hand injury.

Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman caught touchdown passes for the Chiefs, both on easy six-yard shovel flips from Mahomes.

Only field goals were converted in the first half as the Chiefs grabbed a 6-3 halftime edge.

New England could have tied it as time expired, but Hoyer inexplicably took a third-down sack from Frank Clark with the Patriots out of timeouts. New England executed 25 second-quarter plays for 104 yards but only produced a 43-yard field goal from Nick Folk.

Harrison Butker connected from 23 and 39 yards, each in the first quarter when the Chiefs produced 159 yards but stalled twice. Kansas City also lost a fumble at the New England 15-yard line to begin the second period.

Kansas City appeared to commit another second-quarter turnover when Mahomes lost a ball that the Patriots’ Shilique Calhoun grabbed out of the air. The play was ruled dead, however, and the Chiefs punted.

Hoyer finished 15 of 24 for 130 yards and an interception. Stidham completed 5 of 13 passes for 60 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

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