Week nine of the NFL's 2017 regular season has come and gone – and saw the New England Patriots stay at 6-2 while on their bye week. This, of course, gives us a chance to look back and analyze the defending world champions' season so far. For this purpose, we will look at some key statistics and compare them to other teams around the league.
The Patriots have zero road losses this year, losing both their games at home. New England, which lost its last road game in the 2015 season, joins the Los Angeles Rams as the only team in the NFL with a perfect road record.
Of Tom Brady's pass attempts only 0.65% were intercepted so far this season, the best rate in the NFL.
Malcolm Butler leads the Patriots defense in interceptions with two.
New England has blocked a pair of field goal attempts so far this season: Cassius Marsh in week seven, Lawrence Guy in week eight.
Only two players have returned punts so far this season: Danny Amendola ran back 14, Patrick Chung fielded one.
Only two players have returned kickoffs so far this season: Dion Lewis ran back 11, Danny Amendola fielded one.
New England's defense surrenders 2.0 points per drive, the seventh-worst number in the NFL.
The Patriots have recovered two fumbles on defense: defensive fumble recoveries: Devin McCourty in week one, Elandon Roberts in week four.
New England's offense scores 2.46 points per offensive drive, the fourth most efficient team in the NFL.
New England's sack leaders, Kyle Van Noy and Trey Flowers, have each registered 3.5 sacks so far this season. Last year at the halfway-point, Jabaal Sheard led the team with 3.5 sacks as well.
New England has turned the ball over five times while registering nine takeaways. The +4 turnover differential is the seventh-best in the NFL.
Mike Gillislee leads the Patriots with four rushing touchdowns, also good for sixth-most in the NFL.
On average, New England wins its games by 4.7 points, the ninth-best number in the league.
The Patriots have won the turnover battle five times this season compared to three last year at this time.
Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan are tied for the team-lead with five receiving touchdowns. This ties the two for sixth-best in the NFL. Gronkowski is tied for second among tight ends while Hogan is tied for fifth among wide receivers.
New England's opponents rush for an average of 5.1 yards per attempt, the worst number in the NFL right now.
Overall, the Patriots defense has intercepted six passes this season, the 18th-highest number in the league.
Kyle Van Noy leads the Patriots defense with six tackles for loss.
New England's offensive line allows sacks on 6.8% of passing attempts. 15 teams allow a higher percentage.
Nate Ebner has combined for seven special teams tackles, the most on the team.
The Patriots have fumbled the football eight times, with Tom Brady's five leading the way. Four were lost.
New England gets penalized an average of 8.1 times per game (16th-most in the NFL). Offensive holding is the most-called infraction with 12 while Nate Solder leads the team with six penalties.
Tom Brady has thrown for 8.2 yards per attempt, the fourth-best number in the NFL behind Alex Smith, Deshaun Watson and Jared Goff (all have 8.3).
The Patriots have 10 players on injury-related reserve lists right now (injured reserve, PUP, NFI). Last year, the team had six players sidelined at the halfway-point of the season. [UPDATE] The Patriots placed their 11th player on a reserve list earlier today: linebacker Dont'a Hightower.
10 Patriots receivers have caught a pass so far this year.
10 Patriots players have scored so far this year, including Brandon King who was credited with a special teams safety in week eight.
The Patriots' 10.5 yards per punt return is the sixth-best number in the league. It would be even better if not for the above-mentioned lone Patrick Chung return, which went for zero yards.
New England's favorite offensive group is 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end). The team ran variations of the formation on 282 offensive snaps.
Arkansas products Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise Jr. lead the Patriots with 13 quarterback hits apiece.
Overall, New England's defense has registered 16 sacks through the first eight games of the season. The team thus ranks 23rd league-wide right now. For comparison, the Patriots had only 13 sacks last year through eight games.
Tom Brady has thrown 16 touchdowns this season, fifth-most in the NFL.
When Brandin Cooks catches a pass it goes for an average of 17.1 yards, the sixth-highest number in the league.
Stephen Gostkowski has made 20 of 23 field goal attempts (87%; 15th-best).
Stephen Gostkowski has made 20 of 21 extra point attempts (95.2%; 17th-best).
The Patriots offensive line has given up 21 sacks. 11 teams have given up more.
New England used only 21 different players on offense so far, the second-fewest in the NFL.
The Patriots defense gives up 22.4 points per game, good enough for 16th best in the league – and trending upwards: During the first quarter of the season, New England surrendered 32.0 points a contest, since then only 12.8.
Dion Lewis returns the average kickoff 24.2 yards; only five players in the NFL have a higher average.
The Patriots' opponents start their average drive on their own 24.8-yard line; the worst starting field position in the NFL.
New England used 25 different players on defense so far this year; only six teams have used fewer. One of them is Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots offense scores an average of 27.0 points per game, seventh-most in the league.
On average, New England starts its possessions on the 28.2-yard line, the 14th-best starting field position in the NFL.
Due to their 6-2 record, the Patriots are currently 30th in the waiver wire claiming order.
Of the Patriots' defensive drives, 34.5% end in a score, the 15th-best percentage in the league.
Stephen Gostkowski kicks touchbacks on a league-worst 39.6% of his kickoffs. However, he is the best when it comes to placing kicks inside the 20-yard line: 22.9% of his kickoffs land there.
The Patriots defense surrenders third down conversions on 40% of its attempts (38 of 95).
James White leads the Patriots with 43 catches, tied for 11th-most in the NFL. Only one other running back (Christian McCaffrey) has caught more passes.
New England's offense converts 45.9% of its third down attempts (51/111).
The Patriots have used 46 different players on special teams, the ninth-fewest in the NFL.
Of New England's offensive drives, 48.3% end in a score – the league's second-best percentage.
Devin McCourty leads the Patriots with 57 tackles.
Tom Brady has completed a fifth-best 66.7% of his pass attempts so far this season.
Dion Lewis' 71-yard kickoff return in week eight is tied for the third-longest in the NFL this season. It also is tied for the longest non-scoring kickoff return.
Offseason acquisition Mike Gillislee leads the Patriots in rushing attempts with 98.
Devin McCourty has played all but one of the Patriots' 528 defensive snaps so far this season. The 99.8% make him the leader in defensive playing time.
Four players have been playing 100% of New England's 593 offensive snaps: Tom Brady, and his interior offensive linemen Joe Thuney, David Andrews and Shaq Mason.
While it can be an arbitrary statistic, it still reflects the effectiveness of a quarterback: Tom Brady's 106.5 passer rating is the second-best in the league.
Mike Gillislee leads the Patriots with 355 rushing yards.
The Patriots defense gives up a league-worst 417 yards per game. When putting into account that the team owns the 16th-best scoring defense, the bend-don't-break mantra appears to be in full effect again.
Brandin Cooks has registered 563 receiving yards so far this season; most on the Patriots and the 10th-most in the league.
Dion Lewis leads the Patriots with 595 all purpose yards (rushes, receptions, returns). 12 players have accumulated more.
Tom Brady has thrown for 2,417 yards so far this season, the most in the NFL.