Chiefs kick off sea­son with Pa­tri­ots up­set

Rookie RB Hunt scores three TDs in 42-27 win

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

>> BOS­TON: Rookie run­ning back Ka­reem Hunt up­staged Tom Brady as the Kansas City Chiefs launched the new Na­tional Foot­ball League sea­son with a stun­ning 42-27 up­set of the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots on Thurs­day.

Chiefs quar­ter­back Alex Smith threw for 368 yards and four touch­downs to punc­ture the fes­tive at­mos­phere as the Su­per Bowl cham­pi­ons Pa­tri­ots raised their cham­pi­onship ban­ner in the tra­di­tional sea­son kick­off at Gil­lette Sta­dium.

But it was 22-year-old Hunt who stole the show for the Chiefs, re­cov­er­ing from a fum­ble on his first pos­ses­sion to fin­ish a de­but to re­mem­ber with three touch­downs.

“We just stuck to­gether,” Hunt said. “We’re like the un­der­dogs, a lot of peo­ple didn’t be­lieve in us. We just wanted to come out and shock the world.”

Smith mean­while pro­duced a vir­tu­oso dis­play at quar­ter­back for the Chiefs, com­plet­ing 28 of 35 pass at­tempts with no in­ter­cep­tions.

Brady had a frus­trat­ing night, throw­ing for 267 yards and no touch­downs. The 40-year-old five-time Su­per Bowl cham­pion com­pleted only 16 of 36 at­tempts.

“It’s a ter­ri­ble feel­ing,” a stony­faced Brady said af­ter the de­feat. “But the only guys that can do some­thing about it are back in that locker room. We’ve got to dig a lot deeper than we did tonight. Be­cause we didn’t dig very deep tonight.”

Pa­tri­ots coach Bill Belichick was typ­i­cally blunt in his as­sess­ment of the loss.

“We didn’t re­ally do much of any­thing well enough to de­serve a win,” Belichick said. “We gave up 42 points. Gotta coach bet­ter, gotta prac­tise bet­ter, gotta play bet­ter.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. That’s ob­vi­ous. So we’ll go back to work and see if we can im­prove pretty much ev­ery­thing. We made too many mis­takes and our fun­da­men­tals weren’t good enough.”

Pa­tri­ots fans had launched the evening in Foxborough in rau­cous mood, rain­ing boos down on NFL Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell at the open­ing cer­e­monies.

Brady was quickly into his groove, lead­ing a nine-play, 73-yard drive that cul­mi­nated with Mike Gil­lislee’s two­yard touch­down run.

The Pats looked to have grabbed an­other touch­down af­ter re­cov­er­ing a Chiefs fum­ble, only for Rob Gronkowski’s end zone re­cep­tion to be deemed in­com­plete af­ter a video re­view.

In­stead it was the Chiefs who re­cov­ered, get­ting on the board when Demetrius Har­ris gath­ered Smith’s seven-yard pass af­ter a 90-yard drive.

A Stephen Gostkowski field goal and a sec­ond Gil­lislee touch­down saw the Pa­tri­ots go 17-7 up but Hunt’s first touch­down of the night from a three-yard Smith pass pulled the Chiefs back to 17-14.

A su­perb 75-yard touch­down pass from Smith to Tyreek Hill then put the Chiefs 21-17 ahead only for Gil­lislee to bar­rel over from one yard to put the Pa­tri­ots 24-21 ahead with 5:01 min­utes re­main­ing in the third quar­ter.

A fur­ther Gostkowski field goal stretched the Pa­tri­ots lead to 27-21 but Kansas City hit back al­most im­me­di­ately with a bril­liant 78-yard touch­down from Smith to Hunt to put the Chiefs ahead.

The Chiefs stopped the Pa­tri­ots on a cru­cial fourth and inches early in the fourth quar­ter, and Hunt then dived over in the cor­ner for his third touch­down of the night to make it 35-27.

Char­can­drick West then added an­other touch­down to com­plete the scor­ing for the Chiefs.

Chiefs run­ning back Ka­reem Hunt, left, scores a touch­down against the Pa­tri­ots.

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