10 quick thoughts as Patriots beat themselves in Kansas City


It doesn't happen often, but the Patriots did not help their own cause.

After full day of travel to Kansas City, the Patriots came up short, 26-10, against the Chiefs Monday night in a game that was pushed back from Sunday afternoon due to COVID-19 positives on both teams, including Cam Newton.

New England had a number of uncharacteristic mistakes, including dropped passes and bad situational football, which cannot happen against a team like Kansas City.

Brian Hoyer got the start for the Patriots and it was a rough night for the veteran, which had him eventually get pulled in the second half for Jarrett Stidham. Patrick Mahomes had a tough night for him, but he still was able to make the plays necessary to win.

The Patriots trailed 13-10 early in the fourth, but the Chiefs responded on the next drive with a TD of their own and then added a pick-6.

New England turned the ball over four times, its most in a game since Dec. 16, 2012.

Here are 10 quick thoughts from the game.

1. It doesn’t happen often, but the Patriots beat themselves. They had a great gameplan defensively and with the running game, but some bad situational football and dropped passes ultimately led to the loss. The Patriots had two dropped interceptions, a strip-sack in the red zone as well a dropped pass that turned into a pick-6. It was not a case of the Chiefs simply over-powering New England, as they actually played a subpar game, but they took advantage of all the mistakes made on the other side of the field.

2. The Patriots defense did about as well as they possibly could against Mahomes and the Kansas City offense. It mixed things up and had the Chiefs confused for the majority of the first half. The unit went with some unique looks with a number of defensive backs on the field, including eight on some plays. There are certainly some positives that can be taken from that side of the ball.

3. Hoyer did not look like the 12-year veteran that he is. He finished 15-for-24 passing with 130 yards, an interception as well as a fumble before being pulled in the third quarter. It’s worth wondering why he started the game instead of Jarrett Stidham, who certainly has more upside. Stidham threw two interceptions, but one came on a Julian Edelman drop.

4. The Patriots trailed 6-3 at halftime, but it should have likely been a 6-6 game. Hoyer inexplicably took a sack on a play with 10 seconds left from the 10-yard line and they had no timeouts left, which was how the first half ended. Being in the league for as long as he has, Hoyer has to know the situation and do everything he can not to take a sack in that spot. The QB also tried to call a timeout after the play, indicating he lost track of how many timeouts the Patriots had.

5. Hoyer had another bad play deep in Kansas City territory when he fumbled on third-and-8 from the 10-yard line early in the third quarter. The Patriots had gone 73 yards in over seven minutes, which is ideal when playing the Chiefs, so it was the absolute worst time for a turnover. That play completely shifted momentum, as the Patriots were having their best drive of the night.

6. There was another controversial play in the second quarter as with 6:22 to play in the half, the Patriots appeared to knock the ball free from Mahomes in Kansas City territory, but the whistle blew before the fumble. Bill Belichick was furious on the sideline and did not challenge/call timeout before the Chiefs punted. It’s worth waiting to see what Belichick has to say on the play afterwards for a reason why he did not challenge it.

7. In his first action of the year, and first real extended action of his career, second-year running back Damien Harris was very impressive. The third-round pick of a year ago finished with 17 carries for 100 yards. With Sony Michel now on injured reserve, Harris figures to get a bunch of touches in the coming weeks.

8. Chase Winovich continues to have a strong start to the season, as he added another sack and two tackles for loss. He’s emerged as arguably the Patriots’ best player in the front-seven.

9. Nick Folk made a 43-yard field goal, which was his first 40-plus yard field goal of the season. It was good to see him make a long field goal, as the team will have more confidence in attempting them moving forward.

10. In terms of inactives, it was interesting that Jakobi Meyers was inactive with wide receiver Isaiah Zuber being elevated from the practice squad. While they are different types of players, is Meyers really that low on the depth chart? Gunner Olszewski returned from injured reserve and immediately jumped him on the depth chart.


Hoyer has now lost 11 straight games as a starter.

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