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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Patriots Get Run Over In Kansas City, Suffer Second Worst Loss Ever Under Belichick (41-14)

There is not much to say when you watch one of your favorite teams get absolutely embarrassed on national television. New England (2-2) went into Arrowhead Stadium tonight for Monday Night Football and just laid down in a soul-crushing 41-14 loss to Kansas City (2-2). It was the second worst loss (by margin of defeat) under Bill Belichick, trumped only by the 31-0 loss at Buffalo in the 2003 season opener.

It was never remotely competitive after the first quarter as the Chiefs led 17-0 at halftime (and it should have been more) then 27-7 after three quarters. Alex Smith (20 of 26 for 248 yards, 3 TDs) had a nearly perfect quarterback rating of 144.4 while Jamaal Charles (92 yards rushing, TD; 2 TD catches) looked like the best all-around running back in the NFL. His backup Knile Davis (107 yards rushing) and tight end Travis Kelce (8 catches, 93 yards, TD) were also unstoppable.

Things got so bad that Tom Brady (14 of 24 for 159 yards, TD, 2 INTs) was benched in the fourth quarter (to make sure he wasn't maimed). Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo made his NFL debut and threw a meaningless 13-yard touchdown to Rob Gronkowski which is sure to set off reactionary idiots across New England for the next week ("he should start!").

The scary part is that Kansas City by all indications before tonight is nothing more than an average to fringe playoff team in the AFC. What happens when New England plays legitimate contenders like say Cincinnati (3-0) which just happens to be their next game on Sunday night (8:30, NBC) at Gillette Stadium?

I can't ever remember the Pats having so many critical deficiencies at one time: their offensive line is maybe the worst in the NFL, Brady isn't himself (understandably), they can't run the ball consistently and outside of Julian Edelman and the ghost of Gronk, who can he throw to? Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins were inactive again tonight which makes zero sense unless there was some internal punishment that we'll never know about.

The defense seemed promising through the first three games but then this evening they imploded in spectacular fashion: missing millions of tackles, slipping constantly and above all, looking slow and lethargic.

Other than Matthew Slater on special teams (seriously, he's a beast), there was only one other guy on the Patriots that showed some signs of life: Brandon LaFell. He had six catches for a game-high 119 yards including a 44-yard catch and run for a score. After four catches last week vs. Oakland, he appears to be getting on the same page with Brady. My advice to Josh McDaniels: keep feeding him the ball, what's the worst that can happen?

The AFC East is still the worst division in football and you know at some point, New England will get better. However, nobody expected a catastrophic loss like this. The Patriots used to hand out beatings in similar fashion, not absorb them in front of the entire world. This will be the most critical week (in terms of negativity) surrounding the team since Belichick took over (minus Spygate of course).

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