“It’s part of the give-and-take,” he said. “All part of the human part of the game.”
Still, the Patriots came back again. With just less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter, James White threw a halfback option pass to Meyers for 35 yards. New England had a first down at the Kansas City 33-yard line.
A mix of rushes and passes and a 17-yard scramble by Brady moved the Patriots inside the Chiefs’ 10-yard line, and with less than a minute to play, New England faced a fourth-and-3 at the 5-yard line. But Brady’s pass to the left corner of the end zone was deftly batted away by Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland.
The Patriots opened the game’s scoring with an impressive first possession. Two defensive pass interference penalties helped keep the Patriots drive alive, as did a flea flicker pass from Brady to his favorite target, Julian Edelman, who had dashed behind a drawn-in Chiefs secondary. Edelman caught Brady’s pass as he fell backward into the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown.
Mahomes, who completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards, was intercepted on the next Kansas City drive and the Patriots were in Chiefs territory with a chance to add to their lead, but New England’s offense sputtered and punted. The Chiefs stormed back to kick a field goal and the Patriots responded with a lengthy, moderately proficient drive that set up a 41-yard field goal attempt by New England place-kicker Nick Folk.
But in a turning point of the first half, the Chiefs blocked the kick. Seven plays later, with Mahomes gaining his rhythm in the passing pocket, the Chiefs took the lead when a scrambling Mahomes threw on the run and tossed a deft, 48-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mecole Hardman.
On the first play of the ensuing Patriots possession, Brady, who completed 19 of 36 passes for only 169 yards, fired an ill-advised, poorly executed pass into double coverage, a throw that was easily picked off by Breeland. That miscue led to the Chiefs second touchdown and it was a creative one.
Shifting before a third down-and-goal from the Patriots’ 4-yard line, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce stood in the shotgun behind center with a teammate on his left and right in the backfield — and with Mahomes behind him in the formation. Taking the direct snap, Kelce faked a handoff and then bulled through the Patriots defense, bouncing off would-be tacklers until he was standing in the end zone for a score that put the Chiefs ahead, 17-7.