By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) I guess we can stop with the “Can the Patriots go undefeated?” questions and move directly to the panicked “What’s wrong with the Patriots?” ones.
Get to work, people.
The most polarizing team in sports just fell flat on its face to open the NFL season, looking more than mortal in a 42-27 loss to the Chiefs in Foxboro on Thursday night. The depth and breadth of the issues on display will delight some and terrify others who watched Tom Brady struggle against consistent pressure and saw a record setting 537 yards gained against a Bill Belichick Patriots defense in putting up 42 points, also a record in that regard.
The defending champion Patriots were carved to ribbons by Alex Smith (368 yards and four touchdowns) and trampled by rookie running back Kareem Hunt (246 yards from scrimmage, three touchdowns).
So the still-extant and functioning members of the 1972 Dolphins can already rest easier, seeing that their status as the only NFL undefeateds is still so meaningful to them, and the rest of us will be spared the spectacle of any cork-popping celebration upon an end to the threat of a team equaling or surpassing their record.
Unless some team like the Seahawks or Steelers or anyone else wants to make a run at it.