Chiefs 26, Patriots 16
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—It’s time for people to start taking notice when Greg Wesley makes bold predictions.
Right before a game against Miami in 2002, Kansas City’s free safety said he would get three interceptions, and did. Then Sunday he picked off three of Tom Brady’s passes after telling teammates he would, and Sammy Knight grabbed a fourth in a 26-16 victory over the injury-tattered New England Patriots.
Larry Johnson, with his fourth straight outstanding game, ran for 119 yards and a touchdown as the Chiefs (7-4) stayed within two games of Denver in the AFC West. The Patriots (6-5) remained two games ahead of Buffalo in the less-competitive AFC East.
“Maybe I should do it more often,” said Wesley. “I had three the other time, but it doesn’t compare to this.”
He had tight end Tony Gonzalez to verify his prediction.
“I said, `How many are you going to get for me?’ ” Gonzalez said. “He said three.”
Brady was high on many throws. Three of the interceptions were deflected, including Knight’s, which he when it bounced off Tim Dwight’s hands after the Patriots pulled within 10 points.
The four interceptions tied Brady’s career-high and his quarterback rating of 42.5 tied for second lowest in the career of the two-time Super Bowl MVP.
“Tough day,” said Brady, 22-for-40 for 248 yards and one TD.
In the first 10 games, he’d been intercepted only six times.
“We didn’t execute. It’s tough when you spot a good team all those points. I just threw it high,” he said.
An aggressive defense also kept pressure on him.
“We got some hits on him and hands in his face,” said end Eric Hicks. “When you do that to any quarterback, he’s going to become very average.”
Two of Wesley’s interceptions set up field goals by Lawrence Tynes, who tied an NFL record with four 3-pointers in one period.
Running behind an offensive line bolstered by the return of Pro Bowl left tackle Willie Roaf, Johnson pounded New England inside and out, displaying a Priest Holmes-like patience behind his blockers that was missing his first two years.
Johnson, who had a franchise-record 211 yards rushing against Houston the previous week, has 462 yards in three games since three-time Pro Bowler Holmes went on injured reserve.
He had a 1-yard TD plunge in the first quarter and also caught five passes for 53 yards, including a 30-yard gain on a screen pass. He declined to speak with reporters.
“He has a passion to play the game,” said coach Dick Vermeil. “He didn’t want to come out. He thinks Priest is still sitting on the bench. He’s a tough, tough guy. He’s been around football all of his life, so he understands all the concepts.”
The Chiefs scored on five of their first six possessions, including Tynes’ 12 points in the second period. He hit from 25, 30, 33 and 47 yards in the quarter.
New England coach Bill Belichick, who missed two days of practice attending to family business and funeral services for his father, Steve, watched his two-time defending Super Bowl champions dominated in almost every phase.
“That is a lot to make up against a team like this,” said Belichick. “We didn’t play well enough. I think that goes across the board.”
New England linebacker Willie McGinest said the distractions of the week had nothing to do with the way the Patriots played.
“We had the game plan. We practiced well,” he said. “They put us in a position to win and we didn’t execute it.”
Then Johnson made just about his only mistake and fumbled, with Ty Warren recovering on the KC 21.
Nine plays later, Brady hit Christian Fauria with a 1-yard toss. The 2-point conversion pass failed.
The Chiefs scored on all five first-half possessions, getting a touchdown on Johnson’s 1-yard run and then Tynes’ field goals.
Adam Vinatieri had a 21-yarder for New England in the second period.
^Notes: Chiefs LB Shawn Barber was active for the first time since sustaining a knee injury last November. … The Chiefs play their next five games against teams with winning records. … Chiefs DL Lionel Dalton started after his arrest on Friday in a domestic violence incident with his estranged wife. … Troy Brown became the second receiver in New England history with 500 catches.
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