Patriots’ longest day ends with QB switch, officiating controversy and a loss to Chiefs

The longest of recreation days for the New England Patriots ended with essentially the most irritating of evenings for them at Arrowhead Stadium. They misplaced to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, 26-10, Monday night time within the recreation that was rescheduled from Sunday by the NFL due to constructive coronavirus checks for each group.

The night time included a quarterback swap for the Patriots, a sequence of uncharacteristic New England blunders, and a first-half officiating controversy over a would-be turnover by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

The Patriots performed without quarterback Cam Newton due to his constructive coronavirus check, in line with an individual accustomed to the consequence, and went with veteran Brian Hoyer over teenager Jarrett Stidham as their fill-in starter. It was an ill-fated alternative.

Hoyer had a mistake-filled night time. He threw an interception, misplaced a fumble, and signaled for a timeout that he didn’t have remaining when he took a sack to permit time to run out within the first half without the Patriots making an attempt a subject objective. The Patriots, trailing by 13-3, switched to Stidham within the last seconds of the third quarter and he promptly offered his first NFL landing cross with a four-yard connection to extensive receiver N’Keal Harry early within the fourth.

However, the Chiefs responded with a landing by extensive receiver Mecole Hardman on an ahead flip of a cross by Mahomes, adopted with a landing by security Tyrann Mathieu 9 seconds in a while his return of a tipped-ball interception of a Stidham cross. Stidham additionally threw one other fourth-quarter interception because the Patriots’ document dropped to 2-2.

“It was irritating that we couldn’t pull out the win,” Stidham mentioned in a postgame video information convention. “However we will undoubtedly study and get higher.”

In the course of the offseason, after Tom Brady’s March departure from the Patriots and earlier than the group signed Newton in July, the main target was on Stidham and whether or not he would possibly find yourself being the successor to Brady, the six-time Tremendous Bowl winner. That modified when the Patriots had been ready so as to add Newton, the previous league MVP for the Carolina Panthers. Stidham had an injury-plagued coaching camp and fell behind Hoyer within the competitors for the backup job.

It was Hoyer, not Stidham, who was the Patriots’ major backup to Newton within the season’s first three video games. And it was Hoyer, not Stidham, who bought the beginning nod Monday.

“We did what we thought was finest,” Coach Invoice Belichick mentioned after the sport. “In order that’s what we did.”

Nevertheless, it didn’t work out, including the Patriots’ points on a really lengthy Monday.

They underwent coronavirus testing round 6 a.m. Japanese time after which traveled to Kansas Metropolis later within the morning, after receiving an exception to the prohibition within the NFL’s protocols on groups touring to highway video games on recreation day.

The Patriots used two planes, one for many who had been uncovered to Newton and one other for many who hadn’t been uncovered. One left from Windfall and the opposite from Boston, each round 9 a.m. Japanese time. The Patriots arrived in Kansas Metropolis round 12:20 p.m. Japanese time for the 7:05 p.m. recreation. They arrived on the group lodge about 40 minutes later and spent a number of hours there earlier than their two group buses left for the stadium at 3:30 and 4 p.m. Japanese time.

“We needed to form of maneuver some issues and determine some issues out,” Stidham mentioned. “However on the finish of the day, I believe as a group we had been prepared to return right here as we speak and are available in right here with an excellent perspective and attempt to win a ballgame. I believed we performed actually exhausting. There have been some issues that we will study from and get higher from, and that’s what we’re going to proceed to do.”

Belichick mentioned he had no issues about enjoying the sport, including: “We’ve executed the whole lot proper, the whole lot we’re alleged to do. So it’s within the palms of the medical folks right here.”

The Chiefs upped their document to 4-0 with their thirteenth straight victory, together with the final season’s AFC playoffs and Tremendous Bowl. They beat the Baltimore Ravens and Patriots on consecutive Mondays. They’ve begun 4-0 in 4 straight seasons, and NFL first.

“It’s robust to win on this league,” mentioned Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, whose group started a stretch of three video games in 11 days. “And it’s robust to beat the Patriots in any state of affairs.”

It wasn’t the Chiefs at their finest however Mahomes had two landing passes. The opposite got here on the same ahead flip to wideout Tyreek Hill on what amounted to an end-around.

“I felt like, particularly me, we didn’t execute at an excessive sufficient degree while you’re enjoying in opposition to protection like that if you wish to go on the market and have success,” Mahomes mentioned.

Mahomes and the Chiefs additionally benefited from an extremely debatable first-half name on which Mahomes was dominated down earlier than shedding the soccer to New England linebacker Shilique Calhoun. Belichick was livid on the sideline however didn’t challenge an instant-replay problem.

“He referred to as ahead progress and he was down,” Belichick mentioned. “You’ll be able to a problem.”

Referee Tony Corrente advised a pool reporter he felt that Mahomes “was being managed fairly a bit previous to him truly going to the bottom” so the play was referred to as lifeless for Mahomes’s security.

“[R]ather than permit him to get hit by a second and third participant, we shut it down and regarded it ahead progress at that time,” Corrente mentioned within the pool report, confirming that it was not a reviewable ruling.

It was yet one more imperfection in an evening stuffed with them.

“We simply didn’t play adequate,” Belichick mentioned.

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