The last time the Patriots lost at home to the Chiefs, they went on to Cincinnati and got a win that put them back on the right track.
If it ain’t broke it, don’t fix it. The Patriots continued to have issues getting their offense on track, but they forced five turnovers and used short fields to their advantage in a 34-13 win over the Bengals. The victory clinches a playoff spot for the Patriots and they’ll now turn their attention toward sewing up a bye. That effort will start with a home game against the Bills next Saturday.
Stephon Gilmore had two of those takeaways and his third quarter interceptions broke the game open. The Patriots followed one with Tom Brady‘s 538th career touchdown pass and Gilmore returned the second for a 64-yard touchdown.
Brady’s two touchdown passes leave him one behind Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history. If Drew Brees throws at least two scores against the Colts on Monday, Brady will also be trailing him in that category.
While he climbed the leaderboard, it wasn’t a great day for Brady. He was 15-of-29 for 128 yards overall, but the Patriots run game did show up. Sony Michel had 73 yards on 15 carries, Rex Burkhead had a 33-yard touchdown run and they put up a season-high 175 rushing yards on the day.
More of that work on the ground and the continued exploits of a playmaking defense will be welcomed, but nothing would be greeted with a bigger smile in New England than a spark in the passing game.
The Bengals drop to 1-13 with the loss and will head to Miami next weekend. They’ll have a shot at winning if Joe Mixon runs as well as he did on Sunday — 25 carries for 136 yards — but four more interceptions from Andy Dalton will ensure they wind up with the first overall pick come April.