The Patriots drop to 2-2 after a horrid loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Cam Newton was out with COVID-19, so Brian Hoyer got the starting nod from Belichick, to put it mildly, Hoyer was awful. His worst moments came in the end of the 2nd quarter, where he froze in the pocket and took a sack when he had ample time to throw the ball away, then he called a timeout that New England didn’t have. While taking a sack in that spot is never good… he did it again in the 3rd quarter in Chiefs territory which killed the drive.
Hoyer was rightly benched in the 3rd quarter for Jarrett Stidham, who opened with a touchdown to N’Keal Harry, before throwing 2 interceptions (one wasn’t his fault though, Edelman dropped a pass that fell to a defender). Long story short, they needed Newton and everyone who watched the game, fan, player, or sports personality, knew that New England would have won the game if Newton was healthy.
While the backup quarterback play was painful to watch, the other half to why they lost was the officiating. Yes, it’s a trite excuse to blame the refs, but goodness were they atrocious. Let’s start with Kansas City committing blatant pass interference on N’Keal Harry on a crucial 3rd down and not getting called. Damien Harris getting throttled while out of bounds went “unnoticed”, there was even a flag thrown, but the penalty was walked back. Then, the crown jewel of 2020 NFL referee incompetence (so far) was an obvious Patrick Mahomes fumble that was ruled a sack and whistled dead. Not only was Mahomes nowhere close to being down, it fell right into the hands of a defender, so it never touched the ground, to me, that was the turning point of the game.
If there is anything to take away from this showing, it that the defense is still strong, surrendering 19 total points (7 came from a pick six). Many sources even believe that the Patriots have set the blueprint for how to slow down the Chiefs offense, after keeping Mahomes to under 300 yards and Travis Kelce under 100 yards and 0 touchdowns. Next, the Patriots will have to face the Denver Broncos in New England and while it is a long shot, Cam Newton may be back in time for the game.