Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt was proud of the fans. He was prouder of Kansas City. And he was proudest of his Chiefs.
The Chiefs lit the fuse for the biggest week in Kansas City sports history with a night to remember Monday at Arrowhead Stadium.
In a week in which Kansas City will be showcased on national television in three different sports — football, baseball and auto racing — the Chiefs dominated the vaunted New England Patriots 41-14 in front of a crowd of 76,613 at Arrowhead Stadium.
“It’s one of the most special games I ever remember at Arrowhead,” a beaming Hunt said. “What can be better than beating the New England Patriots on ‘Monday Night Football’ and beating them very decisively, to kick off a week like this?
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“ ‘Monday Night’ is always electric … the team’s performance was off the charts, and the fans came to play as well.”
Indeed, the decibel record at Arrowhead was measured at 142.2, topping the previous record of 137.5 as determined by the Guinness Book of World Records.
“They not only broke the noise record,” Hunt said, “They crushed it.”
The same can be said about the way the Chiefs, 2-2, destroyed the Patriots, 2-2, and handed New England the second-worst loss by a team coached by future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick.
Running back Jamaal Charles, who missed most of the last two games because of a sprained ankle, made a dazzling return, catching two touchdown passes and running for another as the Chiefs jumped to a 27-0 lead.
Charles, who left the game momentarily when he was dehydrated, rushed for 92 yards. He was topped by understudy Knile Davis, who rambled for 107 — his second straight 100-yard-plus performance. The Chiefs’ 303 yards in the first half were the most given up in a half by a Belichick-coached team.
The Chiefs’ defense created the team’s first three takeaways of the season — a strip sack and forced fumble by Tamba Hali of New England quarterback Tom Brady and interceptions by Sean Smith and Husain Abdullah, who returned his 39 yards for a touchdown.
Brady, who has led the Patriots to three Super Bowl championships and five Super Bowl appearances in all, left the game in the fourth quarter in favor of rookie Jimmy Garoppolo.
“Tonight is the night you give the Chiefs credit for what they did,” said Patriots running back Stevan Ridley. “They played better football than we did. They came out with a game plan and executed it.”
Amid cries of “Let’s Go Royals” in anticipation of tonight’s American League Wild Card Game between the Royals and Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium, the Chiefs readily admitted they were inspired by their Kauffman Stadium neighbors, including tonight’s starting pitcher, James Shields, who was among a group of Royals at the game.
“I want to know how long it’s been since you’ve had a Royals chant overwhelm the stadium like that,” said Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt, who planted all four of his punts inside the New England 20. “That was awesome. It’s cool to see those guys, to see how well they’re doing, and it’s just a special night. It’s a special place. It’s a special time to be a Kansas Citian.”
The Chiefs have now won three straight “Monday Night Football” games at Arrowhead Stadium, following victories over San Diego in 2010 and 2011, and the players didn’t mind sharing the spotlight with the Royals.
“When the Royals made it to the playoffs, that gave us a boost, and guys are just riding high and feeling the energy of the city,” said wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who caught five passes for 81 yards. “The town’s happy … everybody’s happy. If the Royals can do it, we can do it.”
Quarterback Alex Smith, who completed 20 of 26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns, felt the fans’ synergy between the Chiefs and Royals.
“These fans are special fans, and they proved it again tonight,” Smith said. “They’re the best in the country. This doesn’t happen anywhere else like this. The whole town is feeding off it.
“To have back-to-back events like this, ‘Monday Night Football’ and a home playoff game right next door to each other is special.”
The Chiefs led 17-0 at halftime, and it could have been a bigger margin.
After a pass to Kelce reached the New England 9 with about 25 seconds left in the half, the Chiefs let the clock wind down to 8 seconds before calling a timeout. Smith’s pass on third down to Bowe was caught in front of the goal line, and he was tackled at the 1.
However, New England cornerback Logan Ryan was called for illegal use of the hands, negating the play. The officials ruled there was 1 second on the clock at the time of the penalty, giving the Chiefs’ Cairo Santos time to make a 22-yard field goal for the 17-0 lead.