Somewhere, lost in the shuffle of the New England Patriots’ injuries, bad play-calling, and porous defense in Week 1, was the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs looked like the best team in football last Thursday night.
To clarify, Kansas City is not actually the best team in the NFL. But going into Gillette Stadium on opening night, on national television, outscoring the defending champs 21-0 in the fourth quarter, and defeating the Patriots 42-27 has to be worth something.
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The Chiefs are a good team with a nice defense, an above-average veteran quarterback, and a home-field that’s one of the toughest places to play in the league. They were on the road in Week 1, obviously. But they were still able to pull off something that not many thought they could.
I’m not making excuses here. I’m just pointing out the facts. And the fact of the matter is, the Patriots are not done. Their season is not over. And unless you had them rolling through the Super Bowl with a perfect 19-0 record, most projections for New England this season will probably end up being correct.
I feel like we do this every year. When adversity strikes, people lose their minds. They go mad. It’s as if we’ve seen the last of the ever-so-dominant Patriots.
Well, I’m here to tell you, like I do every year, to calm the [expletive] down.
I’ll once again be called a homer and a fanboy and all the other names that go along with being completely logical in a sports-talk world that is anything but to those who control the microphone on the big stage. But more often than not, logic prevails, and I’m the one that ends up being right.
So let’s do this again. Say it with me.
“The New England Patriots are going to be just fine.”
Have the injuries affected them? Of course. Losing Julian Edelman alone was a huge blow. And now, who knows what the season holds for the banged up Danny Amendola and Dont’a Hightower.
But it could be worse. They could be without Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and a running back group that’s capable of spreading the field and giving Tom Brady even more options.
It’s tough not to think of recently-retired wideout Anquan Boldin during this time. As of last week at least, Boldin and the Patriots reportedly had a “mutual interest” in each other. Even if Boldin remains retired, the Patriots have enough offensive weapons to get the job done. And on defense, even if Hightower’s knee injury keeps him out for an extended period, let’s not forget how talented the Patriots’ secondary is.
Communication issues on both offense and defense can be fixed. And I fully expect Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, and Matt Patricia to have this team ready for Week 2 in New Orleans against a Saints team that’s coming off a 29-19 loss to the Vikings in Minnesota on Monday night.
If Sam Bradford is good for three touchdowns and 346 pass yards, then Brady is good for 425 pass yards and four touchdowns against a Saints defense that ranked worst in the NFL last season.
The Patriots are a seven-point favorite on Sunday. I don’t know if they’ll cover that spread. But I do know that, after a disappointing loss to Kansas City, they’ll be ready for New Orleans.
And if that’s the case, I don’t know why you wouldn’t put your money on the Patriots to pick up their first win of the season.
Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com, iTunes, Google Play, and on the PodcastOne network. Danny can also be heard weekends on WEEI 93.7 FM. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard.