Stephen Gostkowski’s last-gasp field goal gives the Patriots a 43-40 win over the Chiefs

Follow along for the latest news from Gillette Stadium Sunday night.

New England Patriots Dont'a Hightower
New England Patriots Dont'a Hightower returns an interception and gets upended by Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes and tackled by Demetrius Harrias during first quarter action at Gillette Stadium. –Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — With 3:03 remaining in the fourth quarter Sunday night, the Chiefs scored on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill, tying the football game-turned-track meet at 40, coming back from a 15-point halftime deficit in a game that lived up to its considerable hype.

But they left Tom Brady and the Patriots too much time. Brady found Rob Gronkowski, who had three receptions for 97 yards, most of them coming late, for a big completion that set up the game-winning field goal. New England won, 43-40, moving to 4-2, with a potentially important win against an AFC rival.

Punter Ryan Allen was a wasted activation in a game where offenses traded blows the entire night. In the first half, the Chiefs settled for field goals and were burned by two interceptions by Mahomes, while the Patriots scored touchdowns.


The Patriots took a 10-3 lead after Dont’a Hightower’s interception set up Sony Michel for an easy touchdown, then built on it with a touchdown from Julian Edelman and another score by Michel to take a 24-9 lead at the break. Michel had yet another good game, with 106 rushing yards.

In the second half, it was the Chiefs scoring touchdowns and the Patriots, at first, settling for three. First it was a 67-yard touchdown pass to Kareem Hunt and then, after the teams traded field goals, an easy touchdown for Tyreek Hill that came on a short field after Brady fumbled the ball away in one of his worst plays of the season.

Kansas City had the opportunity to tie the game with a successful two-point conversion, but opted for the field goal making it 27-26 Patriots going into the fourth quarter.

The Patriots then settled for a field goal and the Chiefs who scored a touchdown with Hill finding the end zone three plays after Tremon Smith made a 97-yard return of Stephen Gostkowski’s kickoff to make it 33-30.

Below are updates from the game as it unfolded.

Fourth quarter

Patriots 43, Chiefs 40 (0:00): On first and 10 from the Kansas City 48-yard line, Tom Brady squeezed an inch-perfect pass into the arms of Rob Gronkowski for a 39-yard gain. The Patriots set up a dead center field goal attempt for Stephen Gostkowski with three seconds left, and the veteran kicker did not disappoint. Gostkowski nailed the 28-yard try as time expired to give the Patriots the win.


Patriots 40, Chiefs 40 (3:03): On the first play of the ensuing Chiefs drive, Patrick Mahomes found Tyreek Hill downfield then watched Hill sprint for a 75-yard touchdown. Butker kicked the extra point to tie the game.

Patriots 40, Chiefs 33 (3:19): Stephen Gostkowski put a touchdown between the teams, launching a 50-yard field goal between the posts. Tom Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a 42-yard gain on the first play of the drive, before the drive stalled on an incomplete pass intended for Julian Edelman.

Patriots 37, Chiefs 33 (4:05): The Patriots blitzed Patrick Mahomes on third and seven at the Kansas City 28-yard line, forcing the Chiefs quarterback to throw an under pressure deep ball that Jason McCourty nearly intercepted. The Chiefs punted and Tom Brady and Co. took over at his own 21-yard line.

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Patriots 37, Chiefs 33 (5:25): Tom Brady turned on the jets to put the Patriots back on top, keeping the ball himself and diving between two defenders for a 4-yard rushing touchdown. Brady’s scramble capped a 7 play, 75-yard drive that featured back-to-back Chris Hogan receptions, one for 42 yards and a second for a 19-yard gain.

Chiefs 33, Patriots 30 (8:38): The Chiefs got a huge boost from their special teams unit as Terrance Smith returned Gostkowski’s kickoff 97 yards to the New England 3-yard line. Two plays later, Patrick Mahomes overthrew one receiver but found another, Tyreek Hill, behind him for a fortunate touchdown that gave Kansas City the lead.

Patriots 30, Chiefs 26 (10:26): Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 39-yard field goal after and 11 play, 54-yard Patriots drive stalled at the Kansas City 21-yard line. Tom Brady fired a incomplete deep ball to James White on third and six and the pass interference flag the Gillette Stadium crowd wanted never appeared.

Third quarter


Patriots 27, Chiefs 26 (0:56): Patrick Mahomes aired it out to Tyreek Hill for a 14-yard touchdown. The Chiefs picked up one first down, a Sammy Watkins 15-yard gain, before Mahomes capitalized on the short field and sliced the Patriots lead to a single point.

Patriots 27, Chiefs 19 (2:23): On the second play of the Patriots drive, Chiefs safety Jordon Lucas almost intercepted a first down pass intended for Josh Gordon but couldn’t hang on to the potential pick. Two plays later, Kansas City forced a turnover anyways, stripping the ball away from Tom Brady and recovering the fumble at the New England 29-yard line.

Patriots 27, Chiefs 19 (3:36): The Chiefs had fourth and two at the New England 12-yard line, but Andy Reid sent out the his kicker instead of leaving the offense out there for a second time. Butker split the uprights on the 30-yard field goal to punctuate the 9 play, 51 -yard drive with three points.

Patriots 27, Chiefs 16 (5:42): Bill Belichick challenged the spot on a play after the referees ruled Kansas City picked up a first down on third and one from the Chiefs 46-yard line. The ruling on the field was reversed and the Chiefs decided to go for it on fourth and inches. Patrick Mahomes kept the ball himself and rushed for a 3-yard gain.

Patriots 27, Chiefs 16 (7:17): Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 23-yard field goal to cap a 12 play, 65-yard Patriots drive. New England had first and goal from the Kansas City 6-yard line, but settled for three points after a 1-yard Sony Michel rush and two consecutive incompletions by Tom Brady.

Patriots 24, Chiefs 16 (13:27): Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense needed just a minute and a half to make it a one-possession game. On the third play of the drive, Mahomes found Kareem Hunt down the right sideline for a 67-yard touchdown. Butker added the extra point as Kansas City drew within eight points of the Patriots.

Second quarter

The Patriots took a 24-9 lead into the break. A few stats:

Total yards: NE 190, KC 210

Plays: NE 33, KC 31

Yards per play: NE 5.8, KC 6.8

First downs: NE 16, KC 11

Third down: NE 2-4, KC 2-5

Penalties: NE 0-0, MIA 5-58

Tom Brady: 11-15, 113 yards, 1 TD, 116.8 rating

Patrick Mahomes: 14-23, 164 yards, 46.3 rating

The Patriots avoided turnovers and penalties in the first half, a distinction the Chiefs could not claim. Kansas City turned the ball over twice and gave Tom Brady 58 free yards on five penalties, including a 37-yard pass interference penalty that set up Sony Michel’s second touchdown of the night.

Patriots 24, Chiefs 9 (0:04): Patrick Mahomes, after picking the Patriots defense apart en route to the New England 15-yard line, got picked off by Duron Harmon on a toss into the end zone. Mahomes had completed six passes on the nine play, 60-yard drive, including a 27-yard connection with Tyreek Hill. The interception ended the first half.

Patriots 24, Chiefs 9 (1:57): On the Kansas City 38-yard line, Tom Brady fired a deep ball to Josh Gordon in the end zone. Gordon wasn’t able to reel in the pass, but a pass interference penalty on the play set up first and goal from the 1-yard line for the Patriots. Two plays later, Sony Michel powered into the end zone for a touchdown, his second of the night.

Patriots 17, Chiefs 9 (6:21):  The Patriots defense bent but did not break inside the red zone, holding the Chiefs to a 24-yard field goal after an 11 play, 69-yard drive. Travis Kelce led Kansas City into that red zone, hurtling Duron Harmon on a 17-yard gain. However, Patrick Mahomes pass intended for Sammy Watkins landed incomplete on 3rd and Goal.

Patriots 17, Chiefs 6 (12:52): Tom Brady lofted a pass into the corner of the end zone, then followed the ball and celebrated a 17-yard touchdown with receiver Julian Edelman. The score came two plays after Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones stripped the ball out of Brady’s hands, before center David Andrews recovered the ball for the Patriots.

First quarter

Patriots 10, Chiefs 6 (3:25): After Patrick Mahomes overthrew Travis Kelce on 3rd and 4 from the New England 24-yard line, Harrison Butker kicked a 43-yard field goal to close the gap between the sides. Mahomes had found running back Kareem Hunt for a 25-yard gain on the first play of the drive.

Patriots 10, Chiefs 3 (4:57): One play after Donta’a Hightower picked off a Patrick Mahomes pass over the middle intended for Travis Kelce, Sony Michel burst through the line for a 4-yard Patriots touchdown. Hightower returned the interception 26 yards to the Kansas City 4-yard line, and Gostkowski added the extra point.

Patriots 3, Chiefs 3 (5:18): Stephen Gostkowski made a 48-yard field goal to tie it up. The offense drove 45 yards in eight plays on the drive, with Tom Brady completing 2 of 3 passes and Rob Gronkowski drawing a defensive holding penalty. But the drive stalled when a Brady-to-Chris Hogan connection on third and 10 generated 7 yards. Sony Michel picked up 20 yards on three carries on the possession.

Chiefs 3, Patriots 0 (9:05): Kansas City’s Harrison Butker kicked a 42-yard field goal to cap an eight play, 35-yard drive. Patrick Mahomes made the most of the short field position, completing three passes as the Chiefs drove downfield.

Patriots 0, Chiefs 0 (12:26): Tom Brady’s pass on 4th and 3 from the Kansas City 40-yard line fell incomplete. The pass was intended for receiver Josh Gordon, the same wideout Brady targeted for a 12-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage.

Coin toss: Chiefs call heads and win the toss. Kansas City elected to defer, kicking off to Tom Brady and the Patriots to start this game.

Pregame scenes

Tom Brady
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady charges onto the field to warm up against the Kansas City Chiefs. —AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on before a game against the New England Patriots. —Adam Glanzman/Getty Images


For the Patriots, cornerback J.C. Jackson, defensive ends Keionta Davis and John Simon, defensive linemen Malcom Brown and Geneo Grissom, and offensive linemen Cole Croston and Ted Karras.

Running back Sony Michel and receiver Chris Hogan are active. Both were listed as questionable on Friday. Cornerback Eric Rowe is active after missing the last three games.

For the Chiefs, safeties Eric Murray and Eric Berry, running back, Darrel Williams, linebackers Justin Houston and Tanoh Kpassagnon, offensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie, and defensive lineman. Justin Hamilton.

Game notes and story lines

■  On the injury front for the Patriots, the following players were listed as limited on Friday and questionable for Sunday night: receiver Chris Hogan (thigh), running back Sony Michel (knee), tight end Rob Gronkowski (ankle), receiver Josh Gordon (hamstring), defensive tackles Malcom Brown (knee) and Danny Shelton (elbow), defensive ends John Simon (shoulder) and Geneo Grissom (ankle); and cornerback Eric Rowe (groin).

■  For the Chiefs, safety Eric Berry (heel) is doubtful; safety Eric Murray (ankle) was ruled out; linebacker Justin Houston (hamstring) is doubtful; and linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon (ankle) is questionable.

■  Tonight marks Julian Edelman’s second game back from suspension. How badly does Rob Gronkowski need Edelman to open up the field? Gronk is averaging a career-low 3.35 yards after the catch this season, ranking 78th among 93 NFL receivers (minimum 15 catches). Gronk averaged 5.26 yards last year, 9.36 in an injury-shortened 2016, and has been above 4.90 for every other season of his career. Gronkowski has received consistent double teams this year and has had little room to run.

Ben Volin

■  The Patriots are tied for sixth in the NFL in 10-play drives (10 out of 58) but tied for fifth with the most three-and-outs (15 out of 58). Some more consistency is in order.

Ben Volin

■  With 23-year-old Patrick Mahomes poised to lead the Chiefs into Gillette Sunday night, ESPN unearthed an incredible stat: The Patriots are 23-0 in the regular season at home against quarterbacks under age 25 in the Bill Belichick era. The streak started in 2001 (Cleveland’s Tim Couch) and was extended in Week 1 this season (Houston’s Deshaun Watson). The Ravens’ Joe Flacco (2009) and Jets’ Mark Sanchez (2010) did earn playoff wins in Foxborough when under 25.

Jim McBride

■  Watch out for the Chiefs’ use of the run-pass option tonight and how the Patriots defend the play. Volin wrote extensively about where the play originated, why the Chiefs love it so much, and what New England needs to do to counter it.

■  The Patriots are one of eight teams that have yet to commit a roughing the passer penalty this year. The others are Carolina, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, and Tennessee.

Ben Volin

Chiefs’ keys to victory

1. Patrick Mahomes has been a true field general since assuming the reins. He must continue to play at a high level, because facing Bill Belichick for the first time is no cakewalk.

2. Edge rushers Chris Jones and Dee Ford need to be disruptive forces. They can set the edge against the run and pressure the pocket.

3. Get the ball into Tyreek Hill’s hands as much as possible. The more times this little ball of energy gets to strut his stuff, the higher the probability he will hit paydirt.

Jim McBride

Patriots’ keys to victory

1. Nobody spreads the ball around better than Tom Brady. He has all his guys in place, so getting everyone involved — and being unpredictable — is a must.

2. Mahomes is playing well above his age and experience. Bill Belichick and his staff need to throw some unexpected wrinkles at the whippersnapper.

3. The second- and third-level defenders will need to clamp down on Travis Kelce with the jaws of life to prevent the big tight end from dominating down the seam.

Jim McBride

Pregame reading

■  In Foxborough and the Patriots’ locker room, Josh Gordon is feeling right at home.

■  Round-table discussion, Part 1: Volin, Nora Princiotti, and Chad Finn talked impressions of Mahomes, how the Chiefs will test the Patriots, Gronkowski vs. Travis Kelce, and more.

■  Round-table discussion Part 2: The same trio ranked Tom Brady’s trust tree of receivers, assessed Sony Michel’s progress, and explained why Trey Flowers is so important to the success of the defense.

■  How the Patriots are preparing for the Chiefs’ big-play offense.

■  How old friend Rob Ninkovich helped Julian Edelman during his suspension.

■  Chad Finn’s Unconventional Preview: Patriots-Chiefs is the one we’ve been waiting for — better prepare for a thriller, folks.

■  Jim McBride’s scouting report: Who has the edge in every phase of the game, players to watch, and more.