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This is what we were saying after the Patriots were crushed by the Chiefs in 2014

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The Patriots have been here before. Let’s see if they take the same path.

New England Patriots v Kanas City Chiefs Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

“The New England Patriots lost an ugly, embarrassing semblance of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in front of a national audience,” Greg Knopping wrote after the Patriots lost 41-14 to the Chiefs back in 2014. I could honestly just re-post this article because so much is the exact same.

“The offense is an absolute mess, and the defense didn't look any better tonight,” Knopping continued. “This game was an absolute embarrassment in every way imaginable.”

“This defense might not be as good as we thought;” “Brandoin LaFell Cooks can be a contributor;” “The Patriots still have no idea what they’re doing on the offensive defensive line;” “The Patriots just aren’t the same aggressive team on offense.”

Well, other than that last one because the 2017 Patriots were far too aggressive on offense, the parallels are uncanny.

After the 2014 game, I wrote that the Patriots played right into the hands of Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, a former Rex Ryan acolyte, by not throwing to the sidelines. Sutton and Ryan love to take away the easy passes in the middle of the field by dropping eight into coverage- and disguising which eight are dropping- and teams have to throw to the sidelines to move the ball. The Patriots tried to counter this by throwing it deep down the sidelines as if they could solve the defensive problem in one play, instead of picking them apart on quick outside passes.

But we also noted that Rob Gronkowski was returning from injury and shaking off the rust. That the Patriots linebackers were “getting stuck in traffic in run defense.” That the Patriots should have had their hard-nosed running back more involved. That the Patriots were playing too much like Superman and not enough like Batman (seriously, read it).

Sound familiar?

Ultimately, no one laid out the Patriots future better than Alec in his “Coping With Loss” segment.

“I still think that the Patriots are going to be fine when the games start to really matter,” Alec wrote. “This is the kind of loss that is going to stick in Belichick's craw, as well as Brady's, and it very well may be the wakeup call that everyone needed, starting with the coaches and working all the way down. Sure, it would have been great if New England had opened the year firing on all cylinders, but it looks like this is going to be one of those years where they start slow and finish strong.”

The Patriots needed time in 2014 to shape their identity, but it was eventually formed en route to winning Super Bowl XLIX. The coaches needed time with Darrelle Revis, just like they need time with Stephon Gilmore. They needed time with Brandon LaFell, just like they need time with Brandin Cooks. They needed to figure out their running back rotation and who to play in the trenches.

Remember that the Patriots also lost their 2014 season opener against the Miami Dolphins in addition to struggling against the Oakland Raiders in week 3 before falling to the Chiefs. But the Patriots eventually figured it out, winning all but one meaningful game over the rest of the year.

The Patriots made a few minor adjustments by adding EDGE Akeem Ayers, LB Jonathan Casillas, and DL Alan Branch to help the defense. The offense figured itself out with time. The team has been here before and they know exactly what they need to do, even if Bill Belichick doesn’t want to look to the past.

“I think I said it a thousand times,” Belichick said on Friday morning about comparisons to the 2014 loss. “I think we’ve got a lot of work to do. I don’t think anything that we did really was good enough. I’m not really interested in living in the past in 2014, 2015, 2003, 2004, which constantly keeps coming up. I mean, everything’s about some other year but this year and this team. I don’t really think all that’s relevant because we’re talking about another team, but we’ve got a thousand questions about it every week.

“So, I’m really concerned about the 2017 team, what this team is, what this team needs to do. I’m not trying to live in the past like everybody else is.”

They’re on to Cincinnati New Orleans.