The 10 best Patriots games of the 2010s decade: Nos. 3-1
No. 3: Brady vs. Mahomes II
- January 20, 2019
- AFC Championship Game
- Arrowhead Stadium
- Kansas City, Missouri
This game was the highly anticipated rematch between the Chiefs and Patriots from their Week 6 matchup, which was mentioned earlier in these rankings. Unlike the first time around however, this game was played in Kansas City, and had much higher stakes.
The Chiefs were looking to punch a ticket to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1969, and things looked promising coming into the game. Despite losing to New England in the regular season, they finished out the year 12-4 and clinched home-field advantage.
It seemed like on paper at least, the Patriots should’ve struggled to slow down the eventual MVP Patrick Mahomes. Yet New England once again held the Chiefs without a touchdown in the first half, this time shutting them down completely to carry a 14-0 lead into the break.
The Chiefs wasted no time getting back into it in the third quarter, as Mahomes threw to Travis Kelce for a 12-yard touchdown pass to bring it within one possession. A Stephen Gostkowski field goal would halt the scoring for the third, with New England holding a 17-7 lead. Surely there wouldn’t be 38 combined points in the fourth quarter, right?
Two consecutive touchdown passes to Damien Williams found the Chiefs up 21-17 with 7:45 left in the game. New England would answer back however with an 11-play drive taking up just over four minutes that ended with Sony Michel’s second score of the game.
24-21 Patriots, 3:32 left.
It took just 86 seconds for Kansas City to regain the lead. Thanks to a defensive pass interference call on J.C. Jackson for 23 yards and then a 38-yard bomb to Sammy Watkins, Kansas City found the endzone on a 2-yard draw play from Damien Williams.
28-24, 2:03 left.
With three timeouts left, however, surely New England had enough time left to try and force one final score. It seemed to be the case, with Tom Brady driving the offense up the field all the way to the Kansas City 34-yard line when seemingly disaster struck. On 3rd-and-10, Brady’s pass went in and out of the hands of Rob Gronkowski, and fell directly into the waiting arms of Chiefs DB Charvarius Ward.
That’s it, season over. The Chiefs had surely won.
Just kidding. There was a flag on the play: Dee Ford was offsides. Brady wouldn’t mess up twice, finding Gronk for a 25-yard gain before Rex Burkhead scampered 4 yards for the touchdown to put the Patriots back on top. Thanks, Dee Ford.
31-24 Patriots, 0:39 left.
Mahomes would somehow force the game to overtime, with Harrison Butker kicking a 39-yard field goal to tie the game. It would all be for naught, however, as New England won the coin toss in overtime and systematically picked apart the Chiefs defense over the course of a 13-play drive to move on to their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
Patriots Player of the Game: Sony Michel, 29 attempts for 113 yards, 2 touchdowns