The New England Patriots are fortunate to be 2-0 after playing without QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski. Neither win was particularly pretty and, according to Football Outsiders, the Patriots are one of the worst 2-0 teams since their data begins in 1989.
The Patriots rank 23rd in Football Outsider’s DVOA ranking which shows how efficiently a team performs in a given scenario. If the average team picks up 5 yards on first down and the Patriots only pick up 1 yard, then they will receive a negative DVOA score. The opposite applies for the defense, where teams want to have a negative score on a play because that means they’re stopping the other team.
Football Outsiders sums up the expected performance versus the actual on every play and comes up with a final rating.
The Patriots have a -15.7% DVOA rating, one spot behind the Colts and one spot ahead of Washington. The offense is a +6.3%, which ranks 12th in the NFL, while the defense is a 24.5%, which ranks an ugly 29th. The Patriots -15.7% DVOA rating is the 5th worst score for a 2-0 team dating back to 1989.
Fortunately, the Texans, the Patriots opponent this week, are even worse. The Texans have a -15.8% DVOA rating, which is the 4th worst score for a 2-0 team. As an inverse of the Patriots, the Texans offense is a -28.2%, which ranks 30th in the NFL, while the defense is a -21.9%, which is the 6th best in the NFL.
In other words, the great Patriots offense will square off against the great Texans defense, while the ugly Texans offense will face the ugly Patriots defense in the battle of two of the worst 2-0 teams of the past 30 years.