Breakdown: AFC West

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

New England 17, Kansas City 10

The Chiefs lost at New England and quarterback Brodie Croyle suffered a separated shoulder. It is unknown how long he will be out.

Opening the season with a loss and potentially losing your starting quarterback in the process can't be considered a good start.

Yet, there are things to be encouraged by from this game for the Chiefs. They hung with New England all game before losing by a touchdown. Most observers thought this would be the biggest laugher of the weekend.

Yes, Tom Brady was hurt early and his departure no doubt affected the Patriots. Still, the Patriots have a much deeper roster than Kansas City's. The Chiefs started six rookies. It wasn't supposed to be close, Brady or no Brady.

The Chiefs will gain confidence from this game as they head to their home opener against Oakland. The Chiefs likely won't be great at any time this season, but they hung with the Patriots and that was never expected.

Considering that, this wasn't a bad start for this young, feisty team.

Denver plays at Oakland Monday night.