Kansas City Chiefs produced a stunning performance to beat New England Patriots 42-27 and silence the defending Super Bowl champions in the opening game of the 2017 NFL season.
Chiefs rookie running back Kareem Hunt had a sensational NFL debut, recovering from losing a fumble on the Chiefs’ opening offensive play to rush for 148 yards and a touchdown, as well as catching two more – his 246 total yards an NFL record for a rookie in Week One. Hunt had also never previously lost a fumble during 856 career offensive touches in college at Toledo.
Quarterback Alex Smith also starred, throwing four touchdowns in a 368-yard performance – only his seventh career game of 300+ yards passing and his second-highest yardage total ever.
The Patriots had started the night brightly, scoring a touchdown inside three minutes on their opening drive – the first of three for RB Mike Gillislie – and reaching the red zone in each of their first four possessions, only coming up scoreless in one of those.
New England led 17-14 at half-time, and stretched that lead to six points by the end of the third quarter, but the Chiefs racked up 21 unanswered points in the fourth to stun the home fans.
The 537 net yards allowed by the Patriots is the most ever conceded by a Bill Belichick-coached team, while the 42 points allowed is tied for the highest in his distinguished career.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, meanwhile, failed to throw a touchdown in his first NFL start as a 40-year-old, and completed less than 50 percent of his passes for only the 14th time.
Both teams lost key players to injury during the contest – the Patriots losing Dont’a Hightower (knee) and Danny Amendola (head), while the Chiefs lost Eric Berry (Achilles).
Game’s key stats KANSAS CITY NEW ENGLAND Passing C/A Yds TD Int Passing C/A Yds TD Int Alex Smith 28/35 368 4 0 Tom Brady 16/36 267 0 0 Rushing Att Yds TD Rushing Att Yds TD Kareem Hunt 17 148 1 Mike Gillislie 15 45 3 Receiving Rec Yds TD Receiving Rec Yds TD Tyreek Hill 7 133 1 Danny Amendola 6 100 0 Kareem Hunt 5 98 2 Brandin Cooks 3 88 0 Total net yards 537 Total net yards 371