NFL: Chiefs 41, Patriots 14
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jamaal Charles proved he is back to full speed for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tom Brady is still stuck in neutral for the New England Patriots.
Charles returned from an injury to score three touchdowns Monday night, Brady was picked off twice by the opportunistic Chiefs, and Kansas City routed New England 41-14 to hand Bill Belichick one of his worst losses as coach of the Patriots.
Charles, who missed last week’s win in Miami with a sprained ankle, ran for 92 yards and a score. The Pro Bowl running back also caught two short touchdown passes from Alex Smith, who had 248 yards passing and three touchdowns in a sharp performance before a raucous crowd.
The Chiefs (2-2) ended a four-game skid at Arrowhead Stadium dating to last season by handing the Patriots (2-2) their worst defeat since losing to San Diego 41-17 in 2005.
Along with throwing two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, Brady was strip-sacked by Tamba Hali to step up a field goal. Brady finished 14 of 23 for 159 yards.
The Chiefs forced the Patriots to air it out by stuffing Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. And when Brady dropped back, their front seven ran roughshod over their suspect offensive line.
It hardly helped the Patriots’ offense that it was trying to operate on the same night Chiefs fans were trying to reclaim the record for loudest outdoor sports venue. The record was set in the first half, when Guinness World Records record a noise level of 142.2 decibels — breaking the mark of 137.6 that the Seattle Seahawks’ fans had set last season.
The crowd included several members of the Kansas City Royals, who made the walk across the parking lot from Kauffman Stadium to watch the start of the game on the sidelines. The Royals will play their first postseason game since 1985 against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
Knile Davis finished with 107 yards rushing for Kansas City. Tight end Travis Kelce had eight catches for 93 yards and a score.
Charles gave the Chiefs an early lead with his first-quarter touchdown plunge, and then he extended the lead with a 5-yard TD catch in the second quarter.
Cairo Santos added a 22-yard field goal just before halftime for a 17-0 lead.
The field goal came after the Chiefs were bailed out by a defensive penalty. They had been stopped short on a pass play with 8 seconds left, but the penalty gave them a second chance.
Kansas City had 303 yards of first-half offense, the most against any Belichick-coached team.
Charles added his third touchdown of the game early in the second half, taking a short pass in the flat and stumbling into the end zone. He appeared to grab his hamstring on the way down and was met by trainers as he exited the field. After a brief trip to the locker room, Charles logged a few more carries before his night was done.
By that point, the game was pretty much done, too.
Brady threw a 44-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to Brandon LaFell, who slipped the grasp of cornerback Marcus Cooper to reach the end zone. But he was picked off by Husain Abdullah later in the half, and Abdullah returned the interception 39 yards for a touchdown.
With the game out of hand, the Patriots gave rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a chance to play. He threw a late touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski to complete the scoring.