Patriots need to 'bench' Bill O'Brien
I am not sure what O'Brien's game plan was supposed to be coming into Week 15 other than have Zappe throw the ball as much as possible, not try to keep the Chiefs defense honest by hinting that New England might run the ball every so often, and not try to use the clock and keep the Chiefs offense off the field. That cost New England late in the first half when Kansas City got a late score after New England couldn't use much clock.
The reason the Patriots needed to at least try to run the ball some, even if it is not working, is that maybe it would have given New England a chance to use play-action. Eventually, throwing the ball and never trying to run - the Patriots' running backs carried just 15 times to Zappe's 31 passes, but Zappe didn't have many more throws because the Patriots fell behind. The pass-to-run ratio was even worse earlier in the game.
O'Brien has had to try to run his offense with a horrible and banged-up offensive line almost all season, but a better offensive coordinator would at least try to be a little bit more creative in trying to run and protect his quarterbacks. The way New England was designed in Week 15 was to pass far too much, which eventually, and slowly, allows a better Kansas City team to score points and ultimately control the game, and a 10-point loss was really more like 17 to 21.
I get that O'Brien can't be benched as he is a coach. But he could be fired and that would be better anyway.