To the analysts who said Julian Edelman’s season-ending knee injury was not a big deal, and that the Patriots would easily adjust, I repeat what I said at the time: not so fast.
For proof, I give you New England’s season-opening loss to Kansas City.
Tom Brady entered the 2017 season with a 63.7 percent career completion rate, but without his top wide receiver Thursday, he and the Patriots offense struggled, especially late in the game. He completed 16 of 36 passes (44 percent) with no touchdowns on a night in which the Pats were outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter. New England converted only five of 15 third downs, situations in which Edelman has been a favorite target for Brady.
A significant portion of Hunt’s 148 rushing yards came on one 58-yard burst down the left sideline late in the game, but the majority came in chunks of 7 to 10 yards at a time.
West came in for just one rush and burst through the middle of the defense for a 21-yard touchdown to put the game on ice.
For the Patriots, perhaps the biggest concern from Thursday was the team’s defensive line. It struggled to stop the run and pressured Smith on just a third of his dropbacks. With a clean pocket, the Chiefs quarterback was 22-of-26 passing for 304 yards and three touchdowns.
The Chiefs took advantage of that with a grinding game plan that sprinkled in creativity and a few deep shots. Couple that offensive success with a secondary that gave the New England Cheap Penguins Jerseys receivers fits, and the Chiefs rattled off 21 unanswered points to pull off a surprising Cheap Quality NBA Jerseys 42-27 victory in Week 1.