New England Patriots’ stand-in quarterbacks combined for three interceptions as the Kansas City Chiefs maintained their perfect 4-0 start to the NFL season by cruising to a 26-10 victory on Monday.

The reigning Super Bowl champions scored 14 points from turnovers as New England suffered a myriad of offensive issues at Arrowhead Stadium with Cam Newton sidelined following a positive covid-19 test.

Patriots veteran Brian Hoyer stepped in and completed 15 of 24 passes for 130 yards and an interception, twice having the ball inside Kansas City’s 16-yard line without coming away with any points.

With the Patriots 6-3 behind and in short field-goal range, Hoyer was sacked by Frank Clark with seconds remaining to close out the first half, before the 34-year-old lost a fumble in the red zone to Taco Charlton.

Hoyer was pulled with New England trailing 13-3 late in the third quarter and third-stringer Jarrett Stidham connected with N’Keal Harry on a four-yard fade for his first career touchdown pass.

But the second-year signal caller threw two killer picks to open the fourth quarter, the game-sealer coming courtesy of Julian Edelman tipping a simple catch into Tyrann Mathieu’s grateful hands for a 25-yard pick six.

Mahomes had a relatively quiet night by his own superstar standards, landing 19 of 29 passes for 236 yards and a pair of six-yard shovel-pass touchdowns for speedsters Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman.

His limited production can be credited to a stubborn Patriots defence that imposed themselves on the Chiefs’ juggernaunt offence, despite playing on a travel day due to the rearranged schedule.

But New England’s costly offensive errors meant Kansas City barely had to get out of second gear to become the first team in NFL history to reach 4-0 for four consecutive seasons.

The Patriots, who have lifted the AFC East division title for 11 straight years, fall to 2-2, two games back from the 4-0 Buffalo Bills.

 

RODGERS AND TONYAN JR CONNECT TO CRUSH FALCONS

Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers joined Buffalo, Kansas City and the Seattle Seahawks on 4-0 with a dominant 30-16 win against the winless Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football.

Aaron Rodgers’ torched the beleaguered Falcons defence for 327 yards and four touchdowns, hurling a trio of touchdown passes to tight end Robert Tonyan Jr.

Rodgers found running back Aaron Jones to score on a seven-play, 73-yard opening drive before Matt Ryan’s Atlanta offence took more than 10 minutes to complete a 20-play, 94 yard drive for a field goal.

The Falcons’ clock-chewing efforts had little impact as the majestic Rodgers led the Packers up and down Lambeau Field to find undrafted fourth-year catcher Tonyan twice for a 20-3 half-time advantage. 

Todd Gurley rumbled over for a pair of short-yard touchdowns either side of Tonyan’s third score, and the state of Wisconsin held its breath as Rodgers limped off after taking a third-quarter sack. 

But the 36-year-old field general returned to guide the Packers clear at the top of the NFC North following Chicago’s first loss of the season, while the heat is on the Falcons following their fourth straight defeat.