No one expected the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the New England Patriots on the opening night of the 2017 NFL season by over two touchdowns. However, that is what happened, and while many are wondering if the Chiefs are really that good, others are questioning the Patriots as they attempt to defend their Super Bowl title. The Patriots looked locked and loaded, actually bringing in more players after winning last season, but injuries have really hurt them as the opening game loss proved.

Patriots losses starting to outnumber gains

The New England Patriots looked like they added more pieces than they lost in the 2017 NFL offseason, an unusual occurrence for a defending Super Bowl champion.

They traded with the New Orleans Saints for Brandin Cooks and some claimed that Tom Brady had more weapons than he ever had in his career with the Patriots. Then, injuries started piling up. The top Patriots receiver was Julian Edelman, and he went down in the preseason with an ACL tear that ended his year before it even started.

Before the opening game, the Patriots then put receiver Malcolm Mitchell on the injured reserve with a knee injury. This means that he can return later this season if he recovers. Danny Amendola, the former Patriots star who was the fifth receiver on their team entering preseason, was pushed into the starting lineup as a result and he fell to a head injury in the game. Suddenly, the Patriots have Cooks, Chris Hogan, Philp Dorsett, and Matthew Slater as their top receiving weapons.

New England also got rid of LaGarrett Blount in the offseason, rather than paying him to return. Blount was the leading touchdown maker for running backs last season, and newcomer Mike Gillislee looks like he will step right in with three touchdowns on the opening night. However, he is under 220 pounds and was unable to pick up two key first downs on Thursday night, and something Blount excelled in. Add in an injury to defensive star Dont’a Hightower and things look scary in New England.

Is a turnaround coming?

However, the New England Patriots have faith. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy said that the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs could be the springboard that launches the Patriots into a turnaround. “We’re better than what we put," Van Noy said. "I think it will show the next time we play. That game will come in Week 2 against Brandin Cook’s old team, the New Orleans Saints. One has to think that if the Chiefs can run up the score against the Patriots, Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson could have a field day.