FOXBOROUGH — The Chiefs got some revenge on Sunday night, defeating the Patriots, 23-16, after losing two big games last year.
And just minutes after the game, the Chiefs were ready to run it back.
“I absolutely think we’ll see them again,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said in the middle of the visitor’s locker room. “Could be back here, could be at Arrowhead [Stadium], and we’ll give them the respect they deserve.”
Sunday’s victory could be viewed as payback for the Patriots’ dramatic 43-40 win over the Chiefs in last year’s regular season. But the Chiefs seem like they are still smarting from the 37-31 overtime loss they suffered to the Patriots last January in the AFC Championship game.
And not all of the Chiefs were as impressed with this year’s Patriots team as their owner was.
“We’ll be seeing them in the playoffs. Hopefully we do. I want them again,” said defensive end Frank Clark, who shook off an illness and a sore shoulder to finish with a sack and two tackles for loss. “They don’t have a tackle that can block us. Speed, power, whatever we were throwing at them, they couldn’t handle.”
Clark’s sack came against second-year tackle Isaiah Wynn, who was starting just his fifth career game on Sunday.
Clark was doing a lot of chirping at Patriots’ players on the sideline Sunday night, and kept it going in the locker room.
“Thing is, when I’m barking, I know how to back it up,” Clark said. “That’s why I talk my [smack], because I know how to back it up.”
Clark was not impressed with the Patriots’ offense, which relied on trick plays — a 37-yard touchdown to Julian Edelman on a flea-flicker, a 10-yard touchdown run by Brandon Bolden on an end-around, and a halfback pass by James White for 35 yards.
“Any team that has to run gadgets to beat you it shows you the type of team they are,” Clark said. “We played them straight up. It wasn’t no gadgets. Played straight, hard-nosed football. If you’re Tom Brady, you know what defense we’re in, you know what’s coming at you, and they couldn’t stop it.”
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens also wasn’t impressed with the Patriots’ gadget plays. Those three plays gained 82 yards and scored both touchdowns, compared to just 196 yards and no touchdowns on the Patriots’ other 59 plays.
“If you take away the trick plays tonight, they don’t score. They had one good drive and they kicked a field goal,” Hitchens said. “But they do a good job of that. They mix it up, they just randomly throw a halfback pass or something. Good for them.”
Safety Tyrann Mathieu said the Patriots’ offense didn’t have any new wrinkles for Sunday’s game. It speaks to how little ammunition the Patriots have on offense.
“I don’t think we had any surprises for us today other than the two trick plays,” he said. “Everything we saw this week, we got.”
Mathieu said the Chiefs themselves had a few new wrinkles for the Patriots’ offense, though he didn’t get into specifics. The Patriots got into the red zone twice in the fourth quarter, but only came away with 3 points.
“We just tried our best to get in those guys’ face,” Mathieu said. “We ran a couple different coverages. I thought Brady started to figure that out toward the end. You could see the look in Brady’s eyes when he had that ball. As long as number 12 is in that pocket you got to worry about them.”
Multiple Chiefs defenders said that the key was getting physical with the Patriots’ receivers at the line of scrimmage, something the Patriots have seen a lot of this year.
“Being physical with them, throwing off some of the timing, getting in [Brady’s] face, because you know Brady doesn’t like the pressure. No quarterback does,” safety Jordan Lucas said.
Patriots fans are used to seeing “hat and T-shirt” games at Gillette Stadium. But this time it was the Chiefs wearing their new gear as they celebrated their AFC West title.
The Chiefs took great pride in ending the Patriots’ 21-game home win streak.
“It feels great to take down the defending champs,” Lucas said. “Any win feels great, but you know how it is, going up against the Patriots at their home, 21 straight [wins]. It’s a tough task and I think we did a great job of being very resilient, coming together.”
And the Chiefs fully expect, even hope, to see the Patriots again in the playoffs.
“It was fun playing against those guys. Top-of-the-line competitors,” Mathieu said. “It’s a big-time win for us going forward. We know we’ll probably see those guys again. It will be another big game.”