KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The most excited players in the New England Patriots’ locker room should be the offensive linemen. The heat is off for at least five days.
Everything went wrong for the Patriots on Monday night in their 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even Patriots players who garnered the most confidence heading into the 2014 season, like quarterback Tom Brady, left tackle Nate Solder, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, defensive end Chandler Jones and cornerback Darrelle Revis, struggled in the embarrassing loss. Solder and Vollmer were benched for stretches of the game, Revis was giving up receptions from Alex Smith to Dwayne Bowe and Brady was throwing terrible interceptions.
The Patriots’ first three games led up to this loss. The defense struggled in Week 1, then the offense sputtered in wins over the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders while the defense excelled against dreadful offenses. It looked like the Patriots’ defense was living up to expectations, but after Monday’s loss, it now appears that they were the beneficiaries of playing some terrible offenses.
This isn’t a team that needs one or two quick fixes, it’s a team that’s hit rock bottom and now must somehow rebuild on the fly.
The Patriots, shockingly, didn’t entirely see it that way in the locker room on Monday night. The Patriots remained optimistic despite some dismay, and felt they could move on from the loss before Sunday night’s even more difficult matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, who had a bye week to prepare for the Patriots.
“We will watch the film, make corrections and move forward,” defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium. “We are on a short week this week, we have another football team we are facing at home. We don’t have time to hold our heads down, be sad or let this carry over this week.”
There’s a fine line between feeling sorry for oneself and moving on. The Patriots can’t hang their heads, as Wilfork said, but they also can’t forget about this loss. They have to correct everything.
“Definitely, but at the same time, you have to approach it with the attitude that this is happening now,” linebacker Jerod Mayo said when asked if this was the worst loss he’s been a part of. “It’s early, and it’s something we can fix. Obviously, we will have to watch the film. We’ll go back to the drawing board and try to get it fixed.”
The hope heading into the season was Super Bowl or bust for the Patriots. Now they might need to claw and fight their way into the playoffs, despite a terrible AFC East. The Patriots are 0-1 in their division, after all.
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