Work in Sports
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Adam Vinatieri's 32-yard field goal attempt with four seconds left hit the top of the right upright allowing the Kansas City Chiefs to knock the New England Patriots from the ranks of the unbeaten, 16-14.
Drew Bledsoe drove the Patriots 23 yards in 26 seconds, setting up Vinatieri's attempt. He had made nine of his 10 attempts entering today's game, including a pair of game-winners, but missed twice today in the final 20 minutes.
"The guys did a good job to get us back in the game," Vinatieri said of his last-second miss. "We scored a TD and our defense held them to get us a chance to win. It's a little hard right now. I let the team down.
"Obviously, range wasn't a problem. It just started off straight, and turned right to the pole."
Pete Stoyanovich made all three of his field goal attempts and Donnell Bennett added a short touchdown plunge for Kansas City, which improved to 3-2 under new coach Gunther Cunningham.
"He missed two of them," said Cunningham of Vinatieri's woes. "It's part of the game. I never feel lucky, you make your own luck. We made the decision at halftime to play defense and run it right at the heart of their defense."
"We had a bunch of areas where we made some mistakes in the game, early in the game particularly," Patriots coach Pete Carroll said. "We turned the ball over in the red area and that is too much to overcome in a game like this.
"Adam has won a bunch of games for us in the past and he will win a bunch of games for us in the future. We had a chance to win it and we didn't get it. That is all there is to it."
The Patriots won each of its first two games on late field goals by Vinatieri but had been living on the edge most of the season. They had not led at the halftime in any game this season but did manage a 7-3 edge at the half this afternoon.
But the Chiefs put together a 14-play, 76-yard drive to open the second half and took the lead for good. Bennett had a pair of 12-yard runs and caught two passes for 16 yards before plunging over from the 1 with 6:54 to go in the quarter.
Trailing 10-7, the Patriots took the ensuing kickoff and moved into field goal range. But Vinatieri was wide left with a 48-yard attempt and the Chiefs took over at their own 39.
Bledsoe ended the Patriots next drive with an interception at the Kansas City 32 and again the Chiefs converted. Morris and Bennett hammered away at the interior of the New England defense. Five straight runs between the tackles, including a 23-yard burst by Morris, set up Stoyanovich's 23-yard field goal with 4:52 left.
Bledsoe and the Patriots responded with an eight-play, 76-yard possession that chewed up just over two minutes off the clock.
Bledsoe found Shawn Jefferson with an eight-yard scoring toss to cap the drive and draw the Patriots within 16-14.
Kansas City did its best to kill the clock but was forced to punt the ball away with 30 seconds left.
Under constant pressure, Bledsoe completed 23-of-45 passes for 334 yards. He was sacked three times and hit repeatedly.
"My hats off to Drew Bledsoe," Cunningham added. "I don't know what other quarterback would have survived that onslaught. He got hit, I don't how many times."
Kansas has won 16 of its last 19 games at Arrowhead Stadium.