PHOTO: Kansas City Chiefs defenders Sammy Knight, left, and Patrick Surtain (23) battle for control of an intercepted pass during the fourth quarter Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Knight came up with the ball to stop a New England drive as the Chiefs won the game, 26-16. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Turnovers, Early Deficit Doom Patriots
By Darren Kelly
Tom Brady tied his career high by throwing 4 interceptions. Brady (15 yards) and wide receiver Tim Dwight (17 yards) combined for more rushing yards than any Patriots running back. The defense allowed the Kansas City Chiefs four trips into the red zone in the first half. It all added up to a 26-16 defeat for the defending champs, who fell to 6-5, but still remained two games ahead of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East.
Brady seemed off all day, often throwing high to receivers and holding the ball longer than usual. He would finish 22-for-40 with 248 yards passing and 1 touchdown. For the Chiefs, Trent Green joined the long list of quarterbacks who have thrown for 300+ yards against the Patriots. He would finish 19-for-26 with 313 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. Running back Larry Johnson had 31 carries for 119 yards.
The final two Patriots possessions were a microcosm of the day New England had. Even when things looked like they were going well, something would invariably go wrong. Trailing 26-16, the Patriots went for it on 4th down, and Brady completed a big 5-yard pass to Deion Branch (5 catches for 49 yards) for the 1st down. One play later, Brady overthrew Branch, and Greg Wesley had his third interception of the game.
The New England defense -- which had played much better in the second half -- once again forced a Chiefs punt. Three plays later the Patriots were at the Chiefs' 34 yard line and driving. But Brady's next pass, intended for Tim Dwight (5 catches for 76 yards), went through his hands and into the arms of Sammy Knight, putting an end to a disappointing day for the Patriots.
Kansas City dominated the first half on both sides of the ball. Trent Green had 205 yards passing and Larry Johnson had 79 yards rushing at the break. Following New England's opening three-and-out, Kansas City marched 66 yards in 9 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Their second play from scrimmage was a 42-yard pass from Green to Eddie Kennison (3 catches for 65 yards). Larry Johnson -- who picked up 39 yards on the drive -- scored from the 1-yard line. Only two penalties slowed the Chiefs down on this drive, as they only went to 3rd down once.
The Patriots had a nice drive going on their next possession, moving 31 yards to the Kansas City 40. But Brady's next pass was too high for Branch, and Wesley had his first interception of the game.
The Chiefs marched the field again following the interception, moving 68 yards in 13 plays. A pass interference penalty on Artrell Hawkins put the ball on the 4-yard line. But this time the Patriots' defense stiffened, forcing a 25-yard Lawrence Tynes field goal.
Brady threw his second interception of the first half on New England's next possession. Once again it was a 3rd down overthrow, this time in Troy Brown's direction. The Chiefs moved into the red zone again, but New England played solid defense again, forcing a 20-yard field goal.
Trailing 13-0, the Patriots had their best drive of the half. Brady was able to complete some short passes, and Tim Dwight picked up a key 1st down with a 5-yard run. But New England had to settle for an Adam Vinatieri 29-yard field goal after Brady threw too high for Ben Watson in the end zone on 3rd down.
Sandwiched around an awful offensive series by New England, Kansas City moved into Patriots territory twice more before halftime, picking up two more field goals for a 19-3 lead at intermission.
After quick punts by each team, the Chiefs' offense got moving again. Hobbs was called for questionable pass interference on a play that looked clean. One play later Green found a wide open Dante Hall for a 52-yard touchdown and a 26-3 lead.
Down by 23, the Patriots finally got their offense moving. Brady, after getting sacked on 1st down, scrambled for a 15-ayard gain. Patrick Pass capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Chiefs moved deep into New England territory, only to have Seymour strip Johnson of the ball, putting the Patriots back in business. Brady engineered a 9-play, 78-yard drive, going 6-for-6, and hitting Christian Fauria with a 1-yard touchdown reception. Trailing 26-16, New England went for 2, but Brady threw incomplete when no one was open. The Patriots would not score again, and would finish this game in disappointing fashion.
New England takes on the New York Jets for the first time this season next week. Four of their final five games are against division opponents, leaving the AFC East title -- and a playoff spot -- in their own hands.
Darren is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: DestinationSuperBowl. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by searching for "Darren Kelly"
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