— After the final Chiefs player had run through the tunnel leading to the visitors’ locker room, one team employee in a bright red polo said out loud, to no one in particular, “Long time coming!
Their previous trip here, last January, resulted in a disappointing playoff loss that left questions swirling about how they’d surmount New England in the AFC, and what the future held for quarterback Alex Smith.
Just a few days ago, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach had to publicly state that there was “no gray area” about Smith’s role as the starter—even if everyone views Mahomes as the big-armed, franchise QB of the future.
Their hopes of winning dwindled even further late in the game when they lost trusted linebacker Dont’a Hightower—the player who made the pivotal strip sack in Super Bowl 51—to a knee injury, and Danny Amendola, Edelman’s closest approximation on the roster, to a concussion.
Well, for starters, Eric Berry’s Achilles injury is a major concern: He’s a huge key to this defense; notably, his fourth-down stop in the first quarter ensured that the Patriots scored no points off Hunt’s fumble.
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- NFL 2017: New England Patriots lose opener to Kansas City ChiefsBBC News
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