If you asked most Patriots fans what this team’s record would be at the end of September, odds are most of them would have said 2-2. And that’s exactly where the Patriots sit this morning after Monday night’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Much like the Seahawks game, there doesn’t seem to be all that much need for a Coping With Loss article today; we’ve all more or less moved on and feel pretty good about what we saw. But there are still a lot of positives to take away from the game, and here are just five of them.
Expected loss. We all had this one pegged as a loss when the season schedule first came out. Hell, most of us had this one as a loss the second we learned the Patriots would be playing the Chiefs in 2020. When you lose a game you’re supposed to lose, it’s always easier to deal with. Granted, it was frustrating to see New England shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly in a loss, but that’s not likely to happen again.
Defense looked great. Seriously, you have to love what you saw from the defense against the most explosive offense in the NFL. The Chiefs only had two touchdown drives all game, no player exceeded 70 yards receiving, and there were no long, game-changing plays that swung the momentum. If the D can build off that performance, I’d put them up against any team in this league.
Stidham looked solid. In limited action, you have to be happy with what you saw from Jarrett Stidham. “Solid” may be a bit of an oversell, but for a kid thrust into a primetime road game against the defending champs down a few scores, I saw some good decision making, sharp throws, and nice vision. The pick-six wasn’t even remotely his fault, and he actually had Byrd open if he sees the break a little earlier and releases maybe three seconds before he did. A lot to be desired, of course, but I saw enough from Stidham that I feel good about our chances in Denver on Sunday.
Under different circumstances... You can’t give any team, let alone the Chiefs, as many opportunities as the Patriots gave them and expect to win. Three red zone trips that result in three points, a turnover, and a sack is a recipe for failure every single time. I don’t want to take anything away from the Chiefs, who deserved to win the game and remain the team to beat in the AFC. But it’s tough to look back at that game and feel like New England would have won it had Cam Newton been in.
The last time...the Patriots lost to the Chiefs on Monday night to drop to 2-2, they went on to win the Super Bowl. Just sayin’
Also...who really cares? Players are getting sick. The league is likely going to be completely upended as more positives start popping up. The health and safety of every man on every team in the NFL matters way, way more than a Week 4 game during a season that might not even finish at this point, so it’s very, very tough to get too emotionally invested here.