FOXBOROUGH, Mass — Defensively, the greatest emphasis this week for the New England Patriots has been halting the alarming number of big plays.

The Patriots allowed the most plays of at least 40 yards (four) and 50 yards (three) in the NFL through two weeks, as well as a dozen plays of at least 20 yards, fourth most in the league. The three teams that have allowed more – Saints, Colts, Jets – have not won a game.

Those long plays cost the Patriots against the Chiefs, who scored touchdowns of 75 and 78 yards before back-to-back fourth-quarter runs of 58 and 21 yards.

“We pride ourselves on not giving up big plays, and it’s something that’s been happening a lot more than we’re used to,” safety Duron Harmon said. “It’s something we know we can’t do. Eventually, it’s going to bite us in the butt like it did in the first game.”

The big plays occurred for a variety of reasons. Those late runs by the Chiefs were purely a matter of effort, and the veterans were not pleased, which led to some stern lectures in the aftermath.

Miscommunication problems have also lingered, the most prominent led to Tyreek Hill’s 75-yard touchdown against cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Three players read the play differently, though strangely enough, not incorrectly, and that showcased how quickly things can go awry when the play isn’t viewed unilaterally.

“Some of it is miscommunication, trying to get our communication right, no missed assignments,” Harmon said. “Every way we can to prevent the deep ball, we’ve been working at it this whole week.”

Some plays simply deserve a tip of the cap. Last week, Saints quarterback Drew Brees delivered a beautiful 33-yard throw to Michael Thomas against Gilmore, as well as a 42-yarder to Alvin Kamara against safety Patrick Chung.

But even still, there’s self-critique. Pass rushers look for a way they could have disrupted a perfect throw, and defensive backs understand they’re going to get beat but don’t simply accept that fate.

“We’re in the NFL,” defensive lineman Trey Flowers said. “Quarterbacks and people are going to be able to make plays. If it’s a great play from a quarterback or a great catch, we can live with that. But once we get caught out of position or caught out of our gap, that’s something we’ve got to fix.”

Just about everyone has been victimized. Cornerback Malcolm Butler got beat for 21 yards by Thomas. Cornerback Eric Rowe surrendered a 25-yarder to Chiefs wideout Chris Conley, and corner Jonathan Jones let up a 25-yarder to Saints receiver Brandon Coleman. It went all the way down to defensive end Cassius Marsh, who was in coverage during the 78-yard touchdown Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt.

It’s a very un-Patriot problem, even with an extremely short sample size. They’re on pace this season to allow 96 plays (six per game) of at least 20 yards. The most they’ve ever surrendered under Bill Belichick was 89 in 2011, followed by 79 in 2012. Outside of that two-year spurt, they’ve never allowed more than 65 plays (4.1 per game) of at least 20 yards. From 2000-16, the Patriots allowed an average of 3.6 plays per game of 20 yards or more.

There’s a long history that suggests this problem is fixable, and it’s on their short list of goals this week.

“Being able to stop the big plays is one of the things we focus on all the time,” Flowers said. “There’s definitely an importance of getting on top of that, understanding how they’re attacking us and trying to fix it.”

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who sustained a groin injury last week at New Orleans, against Houston, and wide receiver Danny Amendola, who suffered a concussion in the opener against the Chiefs, both said they are “good to go” for this week’s game.

Amendola, who also has a lengthy injury history, is expected, and needed, to pick up some of Julian Edelman’s production in the slot this year. Edelman suffered a torn ACL during the preseason. He got off to a solid start against the Chiefs and finished with six catches for 100 yards while also handling punt return duties.

Receivers Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett also have been limited in practice this week due to knee injuries, but Hogan said Friday he felt great.

Dorsett, acquired earlier this month in a trade with Indianapolis for quarterback Jacoby Brissett, had his first catch as a Patriot against the Saints – a 23-yard reception in the first quarter – and finished with three catches for 68 yards before leaving in the fourth quarter with the knee injury.

Running back Rex Burkhead, who did not practice all week due to a rib injury suffered against the Saints, has been ruled out.