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Patriots Weak: Is the End of the New England Patriots Dynasty Upon Us?

Or does it just feel that way after their 42-27 Week 1 loss to the Chiefs?

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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All good things come to an end. And so do things that have tormented everyone outside of New England for 15 years. The Patriots are 0–1 in the 2017–18 season. They might as well dissolve the franchise. Here are some other overreactions (and some caveats) to New England’s 42–27 opening-night home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday.

Overreaction: Tom Brady Is Washed

A few days before the night Alex Smith made Tom Brady look like Alex Smith, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston revealed Kansas City’s secret plan to stop the Benjamin Button of signal-callers: “hit him.” Houston did that, accounting for two of K.C.’s three sacks of Brady. But this wasn’t one of those games where Tommy looked trapped in a piranha bath. He had clean looks, and that’s what should worry Pats fans. He wasn’t hurried. He was bad.

Brady went 16-for-36 for 267 yards, with no touchdowns, no picks, and not much sense of adventure (he averaged 7.4 yards per toss). This is 40, and he looked it. Danny Amendola had 100 yards receiving before leaving the game with a head injury. After the wideout’s departure, and with Rob Gronkowski snuggly tucked away in Eric Berry’s pocket, Brady had to meet-and-greet with guys like Brandin Cooks (whom Brady missed a few times), Rex Burkhead (OK), and this dude Chris Hogan who made Reche Caldwell eyes all night.

MVPs make everyone around them better. Maybe Brady should think about that when he’s sitting alone in his dining room staring at a perfectly cooked piece of wild salmon and having a full-blown midlife crisis.

Yeah, But:

Overreaction: They Are Nothing Without Julian Edelman

New England lost Edelman for the season when he tore his ACL during a preseason contest. Before Thursday’s game, SB Nation’s Geoff Schwartz wrote: “Since 2014, with Edelman in the lineup, the Pats are 34–6 and Brady’s passer rating is 106.9. Without Edelman, the record drops to 4–5 and the passer rating is 86.4, and Brady’s completion percentage drops seven points.” That’s 4–6, now. So basically the Mark Sanchez Jets.

Yeah, But:

In some ways, they had Edelman.

That should be enough.

Overreaction: Stephon Gilmore Should Go Back to Buffalo

Yeah, But:

Buffalo isn’t interested.

They’ll happily take Mike Gillislee back, though.

Overreaction: Bill Belichick Lost a Step

On to retirement. It was only one game, but it was a historically bad one. Kansas City scored the most points (42) ever allowed by a Belichick-Pats team, and the Chiefs’ 537 yards was the most any team has racked up on him since he got to New England. Five hundred thirty seven! Patrick Mahomes II must have thought he was still at Texas Tech. Is this all Belichick’s fault? Well, it’s like Ernie Adams once said: You wear the wizard’s hat, you wear the dunce cap. I’m just quoting Ernie Adams here. I don’t make the rules.

Yeah, But:

This was a stunt. The Pats needed motivation on the heels of the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. There was too much talk of 16–0, and Belichick knew his team was missing that edge that comes from no one believing in you. Another master chess move from Bobby Fischer in a cutoff sweatshirt. Also, this:

Overreaction: Matt Patricia Got Dunked on by Andy Reid

Buddy Ryan would have never let that Kareem Hunt performance (148 yards rushing, 98 receiving, countless people piping up to say they had him in fantasy and were up on him since his Toledo days) happen. If you want to have a very amusing 29 seconds, run a Twitter search for “Matt Patricia” and “rocket scientist.”

Yeah, But:

Of all the things a defensive coordinator could plan for against the Chiefs, “Alex Smith, Deep Threat,” is at the very bottom of the list you make after you already made a list but feel like you should add two or three more things in case Belichick asks to see your extra list.