The Patriots’ regular 2017 season kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs. After an early lead from the Patriots, the Chiefs came through to win the game with a shocking 42-27 victory.
Their preseason began on Aug. 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Patriots lost with a 31-23 final score. However, a University of Maine alumnus, Trevor Bates, received playing time during preseason.
Bates recorded 17 sacks in his last three seasons as a Black Bear. In his junior year alone, he completed three interceptions and seven pass deflections, which earned him the team MVP that season, according to an article from the Bangor Daily News.
Bates, a Westbrook, Maine, native, was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round of the 2016 draft. In November 2016, Bates was signed onto the New England Patriots practice squad. The Patriots won the Super Bowl that season against the Atlanta Falcons in a remarkable 34-28 overtime score.
The remainder of the Patriots’ preseason included a loss against the Houston Texans (23-27 final), a win against the Detroit Lions (30-28 final) and a loss against the New York Giants (40-38 final).
In February 2017, the Patriots signed a futures contract with Bates. On Sept. 2, he was waived by the Patriots and then signed on to the practice squad the next day. Two days after that, Bates was released, making him a free agent.
The regular season opener began with a strong lead from the Patriots. The New England team took the lead during the first half of the game, but the Chiefs shocked all when they came through during the second half of the game and beat the Patriots in a 42-27 defeat.
Some highlights from the game include an illegal forward pass from Tom Brady, the team’s quarterback during the third quarter. This mistake came as a shock to many, as Brady rarely ever makes mistakes of this nature. Because of this, the team missed out on a touchdown.
Included on the current injuries list are Julian Edelman, who is out for the season with an ACL injury; Danny Amendola, who is out with a concussion that he received during the Chiefs game; Matthew Slater, who is out with an injury to his hamstring; and Dont’a Hightower who is out with a minor MCL sprain.
While many are disappointed with the team’s loss, it is not to be assumed that this will set the tone for the rest of the season. In 2014, the Patriots began the season with a few losses but ended up making it to the Super Bowl that same season.
The next game on the Patriots’ schedule is on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. against the New Orleans Saints. As many New England fans say, “We’re on to New Orleans.”