It's easy to make excuses. That's kind of the go-to in difficult situations these days. But now is not the time for excuses. Certainly not when it comes to the New England Patriots. Whether it's the privileged past or lowered expectations for the 2020 season, this year's squad needs to be met with the same passion, and when necessary, criticism that comes the way of our beloved teams in the Northeast.

One day after Tom Brady shredded the L.A. Chargers, throwing five TD's to five different receivers, the Pats received the most inept display of quarterbacking the franchise has witnessed since the days of Hugh Millen.

An organization whose success is predicated on not producing self-inflicted wounds was undermined by a comedy of errors in Kansas City on Monday night.

A masterpiece of a game plan by Bill Belichick was wasted by the egregiously poor play of Brian Hoyer, coupled with myriad mistakes by the Pats. Dropped interceptions by Devin McCourty and J.C. Jackson, an assisted pick-6 from Julian Edelman and epic brain farts from Hoyer turned what could have been one of the most impressive wins of Belichick's career into one of the most frustrating losses in recent history.

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The Patriots' are no stranger to tortured nights at Arrowhead Stadium. While their last trip to Kansas City ended in euphoria in the 2018 AFC Championship game, the last time the Pats played a regular season game at KC was the infamous Monday Night Massacre in 2014.

And tonight, dare I say, was worse. So much worse. It's one thing to get your skulls bashed in and never have a prayer at competing. It's an entirely different cruel form of torment to feel like you're within striking distance in a game you have no business competing in, only to shoot yourself in the foot time and time again.

Tonight's game was the real life version of the Geico commercial with the fisherman dangling a dollar bill over the head of Patriots fans. Every time there was an opportunity for the Pats to capitalize and make a big play, the moment would allude them in a more agonizing way than the one before it. And what was left? The voice of the old dude from the commercial saying "oooohhh, ya almost had it."

Sure, the Patriots will be fine. Cam Newton will return from his COVID-19 diagnosis and they'll get back to winning ways. But we're beyond the point of "good losses." Lament the awful play and egregious decision making of Hoyer, blame the refs for numerous missed calls and the butterfingered defensive backs. Be annoyed by the arrogance of the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, who showboated his way down the field after doing next to nothing in a game that was gifted to him by the Pats.

New England had a chance to pull out the ultimate "Patriot Way" win in week four but couldn't stand prosperity, and any true Patriot fan should be ticked off by the result.

At 2-2 and two games behind the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East, it's time to stop making excuses for this year's lovable band of underdogs. There's a higher standard than that here in New England.