First reactions: For the New England Patriots, it’s on to New Orleans


The New England Patriots were stunned by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL season opener Thursday night at Gillette Stadium. 

Somewhere the 2007 New England Patriots team is popping champagne.

The 2017 version of the Brady bunch will not go 16-0.  Honestly, they looked the part during the first two drives of the 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.  The offense looked effortless.  Tom Brady had all day to throw and the team was inches away from blowing KC Kingdom right out of Foxboro.

However, in this game of inches, the Chiefs’ defense stepped up when they needed to.  Led by safety Eric Berry and rejuvenated pass rusher Justin Houston, the boys from Kansas City stuffed the Patriots on two fourth and inches plays.  Both plays changed the complexion of the game.

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Still, the defending Super Bowl champions had a 27-21 lead entering the fourth quarter. Still, Brady and the offense were close to putting the Chiefs away.  But then, Alex Smith and rookie running back Kareem Hunt exposed the Patriots’ defense and turned a 6-point deficit into a 15-point runaway stunner.

Overall, the breakdowns and lack of aggression on the defensive side led to the most yards (537) and points allowed during Bill Belichick’s tenure as the head coach of the Patriots.

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"“Bad defense,” Belichick said following the game.  “Bad coaching.  Bad playing.  Bad football.”"

We all know how this will play out.  An 0-1 start to the season will lead to overreaction.  The faltering of the offense in that fourth quarter will lead to questions about Brady’s possible demise.  Suddenly, a team predicted to go 16-0 are now in jeopardy of an 0-16 season.

We know that will not be the case, however it will feel like it until the defense looks NFL ready and until Brady goes back to carving up defenses instead of deep vertical passes to nowhere.

It will take a few weeks to get this powerhouse engine rolling again.  They simply got beat by a team out to prove they are too an AFC power.  The scary part for the Chiefs and the rest of the NFL is the Patriots played bad football, yet if they executed better in a couple of key situations would’ve rolled over the Chiefs.

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A game of inches.  Any given Sunday.  Or, whatever slogan you want to come up with.  We’ve seen this story before with this team.  They need to put banner night behind them and officially start the 2017 NFL season.  They spotted the rest of the NFL a game.

Now, it’s on to New Orleans.