The Kansas City Chiefs packed roughly 16,000 fans into Arrowhead Stadium for a Monday night matchup against the New England Patriots. New England kept the game within one score for the majority of the game, but following a pick six, the Chiefs were able to pull away to win 26-10. The Patriots’ defense held Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense to 19 offensive points, but a Brian Hoyer led offense could not muster enough points to keep up. This game came down to the veteran QB making rookie mistakes.
At the end of the first half, Brian Hoyer took a sack with no timeouts left that caused the clock to expire. New England could have walked away with a field goal to tie the game at 6-6 at halftime. During the third quarter, the Patriots once again marched into the redzone, but Hoyer held the ball too long, which led to a strip sack and a turnover for the Chiefs.
After the strip sack, Bill Belichick benched Hoyer in favor of second year QB Jarrett Stidham. On his first drive, Stidham led the Patriots offense 75 yards down the field for their only TD of the game. Stidham made an excellent pass to N’Keal Harry on 3rd and goal to get into the endzone. The former Auburn QB would throw a pick six on the next drive, but it was not his fault. Stidham threw a pass to Julian Edelman in the flat, but Edelman bobbled the ball and allowed Tyrann Mathieu to pick it off and coast into the endzone.
The biggest takeaway of this game was how great New England’s defense looked. The Patriots held Kansas City and reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes to 19 offensive points and 323 total yards, which is Kansas City’s lowest total of the season. Chase Winovich came away with his 2.5 sack of the season on a controversial played blown dead by the officials, which could have led to a Patriots defensive TD. New England also dropped two INTs which led to 10 Kansas City points.
Despite the lopsided score, the New England Patriots looked great tonight considering they were missing five starters on the offensive side of the ball. If the Patriots had Cam Newton, they would have won this game. Newton would have walked away with points on the two trips to the redzone that Hoyer goofed on, and Cam would have added a more dynamic element to New England’s offense.
Other bright spots of this game are Damien Harries rushing for 100 yards in his NFL debut. Sony Michel will miss at least two more games, and it looks like Harris can fill his role on the team. Damiere Byrd also hauled in 5 passes on 10 targets for 80 receiving yards. Byrd has looked great as a third option, but he may need to take on more responsibility if Edelman continues to look sluggish.
The Patriots will look to go 3-2 next week at home against the Denver Broncos. I would be surprised if Cam Newton recovers from COVID in time to play on Sunday. If Newton is out, Jarrett Stidham will likely make his first career start. This is a game New England should easily win as the Broncos will be without QB Drew Lock and several other starters on both sides of the ball.