Turning Point: Tom Brady's interception helped dig Patriots early hole

Phil Perry
NBC Sports Boston

FOXBORO -- Josh McDaniels noted that, despite the difficulties his offense has faced this season, one of the things it was actually pretty good at was taking care of the football.

But a turnover early in Sunday's matchup between the Patriots and Chiefs helped dig McDaniels' offense a hole that it'd have trouble climbing out of.

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Our Turning Point from the rematch between 2018 AFC Championship Game opponents was Tom Brady's early second-quarter interception. On a first-down snap -- the first offensive snap after allowing a 48-yard score to Chiefs rookie Mecole Hardman -- Brady sold a play-action fake and floated a seam pass to tight end Matt LaCosse. There was no confusion. No hesitation in his release.

But the Chiefs were in zone, it appeared, and corner Bashaud Breeland was dropping with his eyes on Brady as Julian Edelman ran a slant in front of him. Not sticking at all with the slant -- perhaps because he almost lost his footing coming out of his stance -- Breeland easily jumped the seam route and picked off Brady's lob.

The Patriots had plenty of time to overcome that mistake, but things snowballed from there. The Chiefs rattled off an eight-play drive to score on an inverted wishbone play -- something New England had seen from Baltimore and Houston earlier this year -- to make the score 17-7.

The Patriots lost, 23-16.

Breeland, who made the game-winning pass breakup on fourth down with about a minute left in the fourth quarter, made a good play to intercept Brady when he did. But that mistake by the Patriots offense -- one they'd been fairly adept at avoiding over the course of the season -- cost them.

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Turning Point: Tom Brady's interception helped dig Patriots early hole originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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