Brandon LaFell, Jimmy Garoppolo Among Few Bright Spots For Patriots

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Brandon LaFell, Marcus CooperKANSAS CITY, Mo. — The New England Patriots got demolished on Monday night, but in the 41-14 loss were tiny glimmers of hope.

The Patriots were outmatched and outclassed on both sides of the ball by the Kansas City Chiefs, allowing 443 total yards while gaining just 290. The Patriots’ defense allowed four plays of over 20 yards after allowing just six in their first three games of the season.

Rob Gronkowski continued to struggle gaining separation, and the Patriots’ offensive line only appeared to play better because the rest of the team was so bad that it overshadowed its deficiencies.

With that out of the way, let’s look at some positives, few and far between as they were on Monday night.

BRANDON LAFELL

The Patriots finally developed a free-agent wide receiver in relatively short span of time. The Patriots have stuck with LaFell, and his work as a starter paid off to the tune of six catches for 119 yards with a touchdown. LaFell showed soft hands, solid route running and playmaking ability after the catch.

LaFell, combined with Julian Edelman, could make a solid pair of starting wide receivers for Tom Brady if the Patriots quarterback can refind his rhythm. Of course, that’s easier said that done right now for Brady, who looks like a shell of his former self in four games.

JIMMY GAROPPOLO

When the time comes for Garoppolo to start, it looks like the Patriots found a winner in Jimmy G, who completed 6 of 7 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown, compared to Brady’s 14-for-23, 159-yard, one-touchdown, two-interception line.

Garoppolo showed poise and marched the team down the field in his first drive, completing long passes to LaFell and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Some Patriots fans already are calling for Garoppolo to play, but this is, and should be, Brady’s team.

MATTHEW SLATER

Slater won’t contribute on offense for the Patriots, but he continues to prove that he’s the best special teams player in the NFL week after week. On Monday night, Slater made three special teams tackles, including a stop for no gain on the Patriots’ first punt.

The Patriots’ offense and defense were terrible in the loss to the Chiefs, but the special teams unit played well.

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