By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
It was a most unusual game under most unusual circumstances for the Patriots, but the result was still the same as most expected. That said, let’s go over who was “up” and “down” in the Patriots’ 26-10 loss to the Chiefs.
RB Damien Harris. Good, hard running for Harris behind a depleted offensive line in his 2020 debut. Harris rushed 17 times for 100 yards, bolstered by a big 41-yard run that helped set up the Patriots well into Chiefs territory. With Sony Michel on IR, it appears the Patriots have quickly settled on Harris as their early-down power runner.
CB Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore made the biggest play of the game at the time, punching the ball out on Sammy Watkins to cause a turnover for the Patriots defense. The first three games have been shaky and imperfect for Gilmore, but tonight he came to play.
OLB Chase Winovich. Another monster game added to a monster start for Winovich. One sack, one QB hit, two tackles for loss. The sack was when he had Patrick Mahomes in the grasp, a play that looked like it should have been an interception for the Patriots defense.
QB Brian Hoyer. Hoyer waited his whole career for this game, his first start as a Patriot. He was not up to the task. Though a pair of drives got the Pats into the red zone, Hoyer took two costly sacks to come away with zero points, one of which ran the clock out at the end of the second quarter and another that resulted in a strip-sack turnover to the Chiefs. The defense kept the Patriots in the game for much of the time, but Hoyer couldn’t capitalize.
WR Julian Edelman. Another veteran who hurt the Patriots in a game where the veterans had to step up. Edelman had three passes go off his hands, one of which landed in the hands of Tyrann Mathieu for an easy pick-six. He had a few key catches, but not nearly enough from Edelman in a game where they really needed him.
TE Ryan Izzo. No catches on three targets, and two of them were drops. Izzo’s blocking on the right edge also wasn’t crisp enough to help out a pair of rookies, Mike Onwenu and Justin Herron. The Patriots didn’t trust Devin Asiasi enough to play him much in this game, but they may need to give the rookie more opportunities to get a spark at the position. Izzo has been serviceable but not good enough.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at firstname.lastname@example.org.