Notebook: Patriots ‘making the best of’ challenging 72 hours, James White offers emotional tribute to late father

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

As crazy as it might seem, the New England Patriots might have been thrilled about stepping onto the field at a more subdued (but still awfully cantankerous) Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night.

For as much as the odds are clearly tilted in favor of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' bombastic aerial assault when operating from within the friendly confines of Arrowhead (16-4 home record for KC's franchise QB), the daunting road game offered New England an in-game environment that, for the first time in a long time, felt somewhat normal.

The pumped-in cheers and jeers that have served as the soundtrack of many empty sporting venues over the last few months were supplemented by the usual cacophony of noise emitted from the stands at Arrowhead — with Missouri state guidelines allowing 25% capacity within the cavernous arena for Chiefs games.

Of course, playing in front of actual fans for the first time since January didn't do much to impact New England's fortunes on Monday night, as the home club walked away with a 26-10 victory over the Patriots. 

But, at the very least, those tangible cheers from a raucous (and thankfully — hopefully — masked) KC crowd served as a brief departure from the sobering reality that befell the Patriots in the days leading up to Monday's rescheduled matchup.