Ascending Chiefs, descending Patriots

After blowing early lead in the season opener, Pats defense seems questionable


Photo by TNS

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith (21) and free safety Husain Abdullah (39) stop New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) short of a touchdown in the second quarter in the AFC divisional playoffs on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots advanced, 27-20. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS)

Story by TJ Wall, staff writer

Football is back! It’s finally here! After all of the waiting, after all of the anticipation, after all of the offseason moves, after all of the pre-season-predictions, the NFL season has finally arrived!

The NFL season kicked off Thursday night with the Kansas City Chiefs facing reigning champs, the New England Patriots, in a wild showdown. With their offseason upgrades on both sides of the ball in addition to the fact that they won the Super Bowl last year, New England has been viewed by many as the team to beat. However, after last night, Kansas City may be in the running for that title.

Kansas City came into the game as underdogs, but who doesn’t love a triumphant underdog story? Alex Smith and the Chiefs overcame the odds and downed New England 42-27. Kansas City’s stellar offensive performance is ultimately what led them past Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Kansas City put up over 500 yards of offense and six touchdowns on their way to a victory Thursday night. Quarterback Alex Smith attributed to most of the offense’s success by throwing for 368 yards and four touchdowns.

Rookie Kareem Hunt, despite losing a fumble on his first professional football carry, shined in his rookie debut by setting the record for the most yardage in a debut game at 239 yards from scrimmage. In addition, Hunt caught two touchdowns and ran for another. Will Hunt be the future of the Chiefs running game? I think the odds are definitely in his favor.

The Chiefs’ defense featuring linebacker Justin Houston, safety Eric Berry and other star defensive players were also a big reason why New England’s star-studded offense couldn’t get anything going in the second half. Their players stepped up in the moments they were most needed.

On the other hand, Tom Brady and New England Patriots didn’t perform as well as expected. They started off strong by getting a two-score lead on the Chiefs in the second quarter and at halftime New England was up 17-14.

Even after halftime, New England was fighting hard to stay ahead. It was a tug-of-war between the two teams until Kansas City overcame in the fourth quarter when they scored three more times and prevented New England from scoring at all.

In the end, the Patriots’ defense was what lost the game for them. Kansas City marched down the field at will and scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter which sealed the deal.

Despite New England’s defensive struggles, Tom Brady’s performance wasn’t what most expected. He threw for 16 for 33 (44 percent) for 267 yards and no touchdowns. So while their defense was horrid, Brady and his offense weren’t of much assistance either.

Overall, there are questions that loom over New England. Will the defense be ok? Has Tom Brady started his decline due to age? These are just a few things that people will start questioning and also things that the Patriots will need to resolve quickly. After this game, New England looks to be on the decline and Kansas City is looking like strong potential AFC champions.