The New England Patriots don't start out 0-1 very often under coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, but that's exactly what happened this year.
Playing against a talented Kansas City Chiefs team on Thursday night, the Patriots were outclassed in the second half of what became a 42-27 season-opening loss.
Though the Pats looked sluggish on both offense and defense, there's one particular statistic that should put New England fans' minds at ease.
The Patriots have only lost their season opener three times since 2000 (an impressive enough stat as it is), and when they've lost their Week 1 matchup, they've gone on to win the Super Bowl every single time:
Obviously, a stat like that is more of a coincidence than a sign of things to come, as the Pats have also won Super Bowls two other times in that span. However, it just goes to show that Belichick-led teams don't panic after one bad game and often right the ship.
Even so, quarterback Tom Brady isn't taking anything for granted. After the disappointing loss, he told ESPN.com that the Patriots need an attitude adjustment moving forward:
"I just think we need to have more urgency and go out there and perform a lot better," Brady said. "It's a winning attitude, a championship attitude you have to bring every day. We had it handed to us on our own field.
"Just a very poor effort and we'll have to do a lot better. Didn't make a lot of plays tonight, actually."
Brady himself struggled mightily, completing only 16 of 36 passes for 267 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. Though he threw for nearly 300 yards and didn't have any turnovers, that's not the kind of production we've come to expect from Brady.
In the other locker room, the Chiefs were feeling good about themselves after their big win. Coach Andy Reid said the victory would be celebrated and then used as motivation to build for the rest of the 2017 campaign:
"We're going to enjoy the heck out of it," Reid said. "It's one of 16 and something to build on."
Coming off an incredible come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI last year, the Patriots will find it difficult to repeat as champions.
However, with Brady, Belichick and other stars leading the way, anything is possible in New England.
Even after Thursday's disappointing start, it would be unwise to bet against the Pats going forward, especially as they prepare to travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints next weekend.