When looking only at the final score, one might be inclined to see chinks in the armor of the mighty New England Patriots’ defense. After all, the still winless New York Jets managed to score a combined 14 points during their meeting with the world champions on Sunday. However, the scoreboard — as always — does not tell the entire story: seven of the points were surrendered on offense, seven more in the kicking game.
The defense, on the other hand, was perfect for the second week in a row. It did not surrender even a single point during New England’s 30-14 victory, while holding the Jets to just 105 yards of offense and an 0-for-12 record on third down. New York fielded an offense that was down to its third-string quarterback, yes, but not giving up a single point in an NFL game is hard no matter the opposition. Doing it twice in a row is even more impressive.
And surrendering just three points over the first three weeks of the regular season is literally historic: with its shutout performance against New York’s offense, the Patriots defense became the first in the Super Bowl era to not surrender a touchdown over the first three contests of a season. In fact, no NFL team has accomplished this feat since the Chicago Bears did it in 1937 (as first pointed out by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss).
Needless to say that the Patriots have a lot to feel good about on this side of the ball. While the other two phases were comparatively inconsistent against a Jets team that never found any momentum despite its two scores, the defense remained stout for 60 minutes. In a league that is built around an ever-growing emphasis on offensive football and increased scoring, New England has created a defensive powerhouse.
While the unit will face bigger challenges than the one the Jets presented later during the season, it certainly did what championship units are supposed to do on Sunday: it rose to the occasion time and again, and dominated an inferior opponent quite handily. But despite doing that and accomplishing something not done since the days of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, the Patriots aim at outdoing the ‘37 Bears.
After all, that team did not win the league championship that season despite its historic defensive start. The Patriots, no strangers to starting historically well into a season only to fall short in the end, have what it takes to win the title that eluded Chicago 82 years ago. They are still at least 16 games away from it, however, and will need to continue their dominance on this side of the ball if they want to maximize their chances.
Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News: Pats Pulpit Live: Week 3 vs. the New York Jets
Welcome to another victory edition of Pats Pulpit Live!Posted by Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News on Sunday, September 22, 2019