SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It wasn't pretty for the New England Patriots unable to get the job done against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
One glaring issue -- no Cam Newton. The starting quarterback missed the game due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.
It was not the result the Patriots wanted falling 26 to 10 to the Chiefs. The team faced many changes in Monday night’s game playing in front of real fans for the first time and even playing with two quarterbacks -- veteran Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham.
The New England Patriots headed into week four against the undefeated Chiefs much different than what they had planned.
With starting quarterback Newton ruled out due to the coronavirus, the Pats looked to veteran Hoyer to fill the position and lead the team against the defending Super Bowl champions. When asked what factored into picking Hoyer to start over other Stidham, Head Coach Bill Belichick was very brief in his response.
“Yeah, well, we did what was best, so that's what we did," he said.
But Hoyer didn't last long, struggling in Monday night's starting debut throwing an interception in the first quarter. The Pats replaced the veteran with Stidham late in the third quarter.
“Just trying to play better, down by three points and we missed some opportunities in the first half and just trying to play well and it was a three-point game," Belichick said.
Though trying to bring the team back from an early deficit, it was a bittersweet game for Stidham too, throwing his first career touchdown while also throwing two interceptions, one being a pick-six. Stidham said you take this one, learn from it and keep it moving.
“I was really excited to get the opportunity just to get in there and play football with the guys,” Stidham said. “I just wanted to come in and move the chains. It's frustrating that we couldn't pull out the win, but we can definitely learn and get better.”
But Belichick took much of the blame saying it's on him and the coaches to step it up.
“Well, we just have to do a better job with coaching and playing and taking advantage of our opportunities,” he said. “We missed something late in all three phases of the game so we keep working to improve and get better."
As for Newton's return to the field, he could be back as early as next week depending on if he remains asymptomatic for 10 days since his initial positive test.
Meanwhile, the NFL investigated the Patriots after Newton's positive COVID-19 test result looking to find out whether or not the organization complied with coronavirus protocols before his positive test.