Chiefs stun Patriots in opener, 42-27
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Kansas City Chiefs rained all over the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl banner parade Thursday night.
With all kinds of record numbers.
Alex Smith threw four touchdown passes, rookie running back Kareem Hunt scored three times after fumbling away his first carry and the Chiefs pulled off a stunning 42-27 upset of New England in the NFL season opener.
”A very good win against a real good football team,“ Kansas City coach Andy Reid said after the Chiefs ran up 537 yards. ”Hall of Fame football coach I have a ton of respect for and his program, and he’s got good players.
“This is one out of 16. We’re going to enjoy the heck out of it. ... It’s one out of 16, something for us to build on. I‘m proud of my guys and the job that they did.”
The 42 points and 537 yards were both the most ever amassed against a Bill Belichick defense since he took over in 2000, a span of 307 games (including playoffs). The 42 points were the most scored against the Patriots since 1993.
After the Patriots unveiled their fifth Super Bowl banner and after the home crowd booed commissioner Roger Goodell when he was seen on the field, the Chiefs rallied from 10 points down, fell behind again and used great speed to win the game.
The Patriots had been 81-0 at Gillette Stadium when leading at halftime in the regular season -- 95-1 counting postseason before the Chiefs came back from a 17-14 halftime deficit. They were also 105-2 when leading after three quarters; they entered the fourth up 27-21 on Thursday.
”We had it handed to us on our own field. It’s a terrible feeling,“ New England’s Tom Brady said after completing 16 of 26 throws for 267 yards and zero touchdowns as New England lost its first opener in the last nine. ”The only people that can do something about it are in that locker room, and we have to dig deeper than we did tonight. We didn’t dig very deep tonight.
“We just have to be a lot better in a lot of areas, start with our attitude, our competitiveness ... I just think we need to have more urgency and perform a lot better. It’s a winning attitude and a championship attitude that you bring every day.”
Smith completed 28 of 35 passes for 368 yards and hit Tyreek Hill and Hunt with touchdown bombs of 75 and 78 yards.
Hunt ran for seven yards but coughed the ball up on his first carry. But he went on to run for 148 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries and catch five passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Gillislee, making his Patriots debut, scored all three New England touchdowns. He and Hunt became the first players with three rushing touchdowns in their first game with a team since Marshall Faulk accomplished the feat for the Indianapolis Colts in 1994.
Hunt’s late 58-yard run preceded a 21-yard touchdown run by Charcandrick West with four minutes left as the Chiefs scored on drives of 90, 92 and 90 yards.
The Patriots, who lost Julian Edelman for the year during the preseason, saw linebacker Dont‘a Hightower leave the game in the third quarter with a right leg injury and wide receiver Danny Amendola leave in the fourth to enter concussion protocol.
“We really weren’t competitive enough, especially on offense and defense,” Belichick said, clearly not pleased.
The Patriots failed in a key short-yardage situation and also had a Rob Gronkowski touchdown pass overturned because the ball hit the ground.
Smith became the first Chiefs quarterback with two touchdown passes of at least 75 yards in a game since Len Dawson did it -- to the Boston Patriots in 1968. Smith is the second quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards and at least four touchdowns with no interceptions against a Belichick defense.
Hill caught seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown.
NOTES: Kansas City All-Pro S Eric Berry left in the fourth quarter on a motorized cart and coach Andy Reid said he likely tore his Achilles tendon. “I‘m on a bit of a low right now because my guy EB is down,” Chiefs TE Travis Kelce said. “I love him to death; he’s our fearless leader, and to see him go down in the first game breaks your heart.” ... The Patriots placed WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee) on injured reserve, with a chance to return after eight weeks, and activated OL Ted Karras from the practice squad. ... The Chiefs released RB C.J. Spiller for the second time in a week and also released OG Jordan Devey, a former Patriot. ... New England was also missing special teams captain Matthew Slater (hamstring) and fellow special-teamer Nate Ebner (shoulder) and DL Vincent Valentine (back). ... Towels were handed out in the parking lot depicting commissioner Roger Goodell with a clown nose and he heard the boos when he appeared on the field an hour before kickoff. ... Mark Wahlberg emceed the pregame ceremony. ... Dylan Wagner, who led authorities to Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jersey, was a guest of the Patriots, receiving a gift bag and a Brady jersey from owner Robert Kraft hours before the game. ... The Chiefs host the Philadelphia Eagles and the Patriots visit New Orleans on Sept. 17.