Call them The Questionables because there was just a 50-50 chance they would play in their AFC divisional playoff game Saturday.
Questionable Rob Gronkowski, he of the back and knee injuries, caught seven passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns and recovered an onside kick with 1:13 to play. Questionable Julian Edelman, he of the broken foot, grabbed 10 passes for 100 yards. Questionable Chandler Jones, he of abdomen and toe issues and a shirtless foray to the Foxboro Police Department six days prior, forced a Chiefs fumble that became the Patriots’ third touchdown.
Yes, The Questionables contributed mightily to the New England Patriots 27-20 victory over the Kansas City at Gillette Stadium, snapping the Chiefs 11-game winning streak. So did Tom Brady, who picked apart the NFL’s seventh-best defense with 28 completions for 302 yards and touchdowns of 8 and 16 yards to Gronk and who lunged for a touchdown. And Stephen Gostkowski, who kicked field goals of 40 yards and 32 yards to give the Pats a 27-13 lead. And the defense, which bent in the first half but allowed the Chiefs only two field goals.
As a result, the Patriots are on their way to their fifth consecutive AFC Championship Game against either the Denver Broncos or Pittsburgh Steelers, who play Sunday. At stake is a trip to Super Bowl 50.
And the Chiefs are back in Kansas City, the no longer hottest team in the NFL wondering how they enjoyed a statistical edge in almost every category but the most important, the final score.