The Kansas City Chiefs handed the Patriots their third loss of the season, defeating them 23-16 on Sunday. While the Patriots have been struggling offensively, the matchup saw a glimmer of hope in New England scoring opportunities and a near comeback in the second half, led by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who was 19-for-36 for 169 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
While Brady did not appear as inherently frustrated with the loss as he was earlier this year following a win over the Eagles, he didn’t need to throw his helmet this time to express how “disappointed” he was by the outcome.
“We just gotta go out and try to play better,” he said. “Try to win next week’s game. It’s disappointing but not going to feel sorry for ourselves. [We are] going to go back to work and try to do a better job.”
He acknowledged that while the opportunities were there offensively, they just didn’t connect.
“We got the ball, we moved it, we had some plays there where we could have scored,” he said. “We had a fourth down, some other ones in the red area, a couple fourth downs. We just didn’t make the plays when we needed to make them.”
Still, the Patriots did pick up their momentum in the second half and nearly scored a touchdown on two separate instances that were (questionably) overturned by the referees. The first was after Devin McCourty punched the ball out of Chiefs tight-end Travis Kelce’s arms and Stephon Gilmore scooped up the fumble, only for the play to be called dead. The second came from Brady’s pass to N’Keal Harry, who dove into the end zone but was ruled out of bounds.
When asked if Harry’s near-touchdown play frustrated him, Brady hesitated to find his words.
“Yeah, uh, I mean it’s,” he said with a stutter. “Yeah. It doesn’t happen very often so, uh, you know. It happens. We still had a chance, wish we could have scored there at the end.”
He then explained that with little time on the play clock and no challenges left, it was what it was.
“The play clock was ticking down so, it was really just ruled out of bounds and we didn’t have time for the forty-second clock, we barely got the next play off. I think everyone thought it was a touchdown, they reviewed it, but we realized we couldn’t challenge it.”
What did work, however, were the crafty-plays that the Patriots executed, such as a touchdown in the first quarter by Julian Edelman on a flea-flicker play. Brady said they’ll be trying more things to give the offense a “spark”.
“[We are] just trying some different things to give us a little spark or momentum. We had a couple things tonight on the flea-flicker, and then on the hat-back pass. Those were good momentum plays and wish we could have made a few more of the other ones, too.”
Perhaps Brady will try running more.
“I think we’re just trying to figure out what works,” Brady said about the shift in the offense. “You think you have an idea and you see how the game unfolds and you have to make some adjustments. We tried [to make adjustments] in the second half and they threw a lot of different defenses at us – some we handled pretty good, others we didn’t. It was a good game by them.”
The question that remains to be answered, however, is whether the Patriots can pull all of this together moving forward. Brady, who is tasked with rallying the offense, explained that this is “different team ” from years prior that is learning how to work through opposing defenses.
“I don’t want to make any predictions,” he said. “I think we come in with a plan to get better every week and try to win each game. Each game takes on a little different feel and situations are a little bit different. It’s a different team every year too. I may have certain experience doing things but, this particular team hasn’t been through different situations.”
“So, we’ll try to work through them over the course of the whole season and we have three big games to go. We got to get back to winning football.”