Kansas City's top-ranked offense ran up more than 400 yards for a club-record fifth straight game, yet the Chiefs lost for a third straight time because its defense gave up 27 or more points for a fourth straight game and in excess of 400 yards for the third time in the last four.
The Chiefs' 27-19 Monday night loss to New England was sealed when the Patriots, after watching their lead cut to 24-19 on a 26-yard Trent Green to Eddie Kennison touchdown pass with 6:18 remaining, killed 4:27 of precious clock time in driving for an Adam Vinatieri insurance field goal with 1:46 left.
That still left time for a touchdown drive and a possible game- tying two-point conversion. But another recent failing of Vermeil's beloved offense -- an inability to produce in crunch time -- cost the Chiefs again. KC went four-and-out with Green being sacked on fourth down from his own 36.
Kansas City's defensive lapses have been obvious for 2 1/2 years now. But not even a change in defensive coordinators can overcome a woeful lack of talent. Tom Brady completed seven passes of more than 20 yards -- with longs of 48 and 46 -- against a secondary that can't cover or a linebacking corps that can't tackle.
Tight end Daniel Graham had the longest reception when he beat second-year LB Kawika Mitchell to a medium-range reception, then survived Mitchell's feeble attempt to punch out the ball to go another 25 yards. WR David Patten, after dropping a long bomb over nickel corner Julian Battle, ran the exact same play two snaps later and caught the 46-yarder over Battle. So, yeah, the defense stinks. Tell us something new.
OK, try this out.
Kansas City's gaudy offensive numbers are only window-dressing when critical red-zone failures keep points off the board, which has happened in each of the Chiefs' three straight losses.
Kansas City blew a chance to tie the game just before halftime when Green, who had a perfect passer rating after completing his first nine passes for 148 yards and the one touchdown, had a scoring-zone turnover in a third straight game.
While the Chiefs whined that Gonzalez had been held, the Patriots preserved their seven-point cushion en route to an eventual eight-point win.
Green made two scoring-zone turnovers in the final minutes of the loss at Tampa Bay, a 34-31 setback two weeks ago, and another in the final minute of last week's loss 27-20 loss in New Orleans. The Chiefs had the potential to either tie or win the game outright in both occasions. It was Kansas City's sixth red-zone turnover of the year.
When they failed to tie the world champs at halftime, or close to within a field goal after missing the two-point conversion with 6:18 left, the Chiefs were reduced to doing what they've become very good at this year.
Crying, this time about Gonzalez being held both on the Harrison interception and the failed conversion pass.
"The refs screwed us a bit," a visibly upset Gonzalez said. "I've got marks all over my neck from where they grabbed it. It's hard to beat the world champs when you can't get an obvious call like that one."
It's hard to win, too, when your yards don't produce points and your defense can't stop anyone.