Both of those characteristics were well on display in the New England Patriots’ 43-40 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.
The Patriots knew that had their hands full with an explosive Chiefs offense and a team that was 5-0, but they knew what they had to do to get it done.
“I think we’ve got a lot of clutch players,” said quarterback Tom Brady. “I think we have no problem grinding it out. That’s what the football season’s all about.”
“That was a great job by our players and coaching staff. Just battling for 60 minutes. We talked about that all week,” Belichick said. “In the end, we were able to just do a little bit more, do enough. I’m really proud of the way we competed all the way through – from the opening kickoff to the final kick. It’s a great effort. I thought we went out and played hard. I think we deserved it.”
The Patriots led 24-9 at halftime, only to see themselves get outscored 17-3 in the third quarter. This was the result of major pass plays given up by the Patriots defense and a strip sack that turned into a Chiefs’ touchdown.
But by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the Patriots showed off those aforementioned championship characteristics to outscore the Chiefs and march down the field for a game-winning field goal at the end of regulation.
“I don’t think we’ve seen our best,” Brady said. “We can all play a lot better. And that’s what we plan to do.”