Would the Patriots go 16-0 this season? They didn't even go 1-0.
The Patriots were upset by the Chiefs Thursday at Gillette Stadium as Kansas City got a record performance from rookie running back Kareem Hunt in a 42-27 victory.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was not sharp from the start, overthrowing a wide-open receiver on his first pass and finishing 16 of 36 for 267 yards and zero touchdowns.
New England also incurred more injuries as linebacker Dont'a Hightower left Thursday's loss with a knee injury and wide receiver Danny Amendola left to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return.
A downcast Brady contemplates the loss. Pic: Getty
All that talk of an undefeated season for the Patriots went out the door after one game and they clearly aren't as invincible as many thought they'd be this season.
Injuries are a big reason why, and the Chiefs offense had its way without New England's defensive leader on the field. The Chiefs racked up 537 yards of total offense, including 246 yards from scrimmage by Hunt. The third-round pick from Toledo ran for 148 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 98 yards and two scores to set an NFL record for most yards from scrimmage by a rookie in his first NFL game.
But it wasn't just the Patriots defense that struggled. New England's offense was stopped twice on fourth-and-1, including a stop by the Chiefs defense in the first quarter after a Brady touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski was overturned when a replay review showed the ball hitting the ground.
"It was a poor effort and were going to have to do a lot better," Brady told reporters following the game. "We've got to get back to work."
Amendola caught six passes for 100 yards, but was injured on a punt return. He was returning kicks because of preseason injuries to primary returners Julian Edelman and Cyrus Jones.
Brady said the Patriots need to change their attitude and create a better sense of urgency.
"We've got to dig a lot deeper than we did tonight," Brady said following Thursday's game.
The Patriots are not out of the Super Bowl talk, but mounting injuries will be tough to overcome. Brady was not sharp Thursday, but is just a season removed from a Super Bowl MVP performance and the Patriots still have Bill Belichick running at the helm.
"We didn't do much to deserve to win," Belichick said following the loss. "We've got a lot of work to do. That's pretty obvious. We have to improve just about everything. We just weren't competitive enough."
The Patriots have been here before and bounced back to win a Super Bowl. If they do get there, they just might have to go through the Chiefs.