The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the New England Patriots, 26-10, at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night to move to 4-0 on the season and secure their 13th win overall dating back to last season.
Leading by nine points with just over eight minutes to play, Chiefs’ safety Tyrann Mathieu picked off Patriots’ quarterback Jarrett Stidham and returned the interception 25 yards for what essentially ended up being a game-sealing touchdown.
Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 19-of-29 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the game, though Mathieu’s pick-six was a fitting conclusion to what had been a defensive struggle for much of the contest.
The Chiefs put together two impressive drives through their first three possessions of the game, tallying seven plays of double-digit yardage between the two, but both stalled in Patriots’ territory and resulted in field goals.
New England, meanwhile, was on the scoreboard just once through the first three quarters of play with a field goal midway through the first half. Chiefs’ safety Juan Thornhill – who snagged his first interception of the season late in the first quarter – and defensive end Frank Clark each played a role in that effort, as Clark sacked Hoyer to thwart a scoring opportunity inside the Chiefs’ red zone as the first half came to an end.
The defense was making plays inside the red zone yet again late in the third quarter when defensive end Taco Charlton ripped the ball free from Patriots’ quarterback Brian Hoyer and into the arms of linebacker Ben Niemann, who secured the fumble and prevented another scoring chance for the Patriots’ offense.
Kansas City then proceeded to cash in on the takeaway on its ensuing possession, as wide receiver Tyreek Hill caught a quick toss and turned the corner for a six yards and the Chiefs’ first trip to the end zone on the night. It marked Hill’s fourth-straight game with a score on the year, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Evans as the only two players in the NFL with a receiving touchdown in every game this season.
New England responded by replacing Hoyer with Stidham, who rewarded the decision with a touchdown drive on his first series to narrow the deficit, but the Chiefs were again up by two scores when Mahomes found wide receiver Mecole Hardman on a quick, 6-yard touchdown pass a drive later.
Mathieu picked off Stidham on the Patriots’ next series, effectively securing the victory for Kansas City. Second-year cornerback Rashad Fenton added an interception of his own in the closing minutes of the contest – one of four passes defensed for Fenton on the night – marking the Patriots’ fourth turnover and their most giveaways in a single game since Week 15 of the 2012 season.
The Chiefs will look to protect their perfect record at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday with a matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.