The New England Patriots defense continued to shine yesterday with a 30-14 win over a division rival, the New York Jets. After the two touchdowns allowed were off a muffed punt by Gunner Olszewski and a Jarrett Stidham pick-six, the team’s defense set a record becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to not allow a touchdown in its first three games of the season. It also set a franchise record by allowing the fewest points to open up a season.
Despite facing star running back Le’Veon Bell, who the Patriots held to just 69 total yards on 23 touches, New England’s defense allowed the Jets to gain just 105 yards of total offense — the fewest yards allowed in Bill Belichick’s 20 seasons as the team’s head coach. The Patriots certainly have been good against the Jets and in their two previous games, and they stand out even when stacked against some of the league’s best ever defenses:
Notable defenses through first 3 games:— Ryan Spagnoli (@Ryan_Spags) September 23, 2019
'85 #Bears: 3 W's 59 points, 958 yards, 8 TO
'91 #Eagles: 2 W's, 29 points, 615 yards, 11 TO
'00: #Ravens: 2 W's, 55 points, 902 yards, 6 TO
'13 #Seahawks: 3 W's, 27 points, 725 yards, 10 TO
'19 #Patriots: 3 W's, 3 points, 597 yards, 6 TO
With the Patriots’ opponents this season a combined 0-9 so far, however, safety Devin McCourty knows that Belichick will not allow the unit to get ahead of itself.
“If you ever sit in a Bill Belichick meeting, don’t worry, he’ll find it. We’ll come in here tomorrow and he’ll have it broken down,” McCourty said of the team’s defensive holes during his postgame press conference. “Whether it’s run technique, whether it’s pass-rush games up front, leveraging coverage, depth on the safeties on the half-field, on the middle. All of those fundamentals he’ll have down.”
Belichick’s ability to stress taking it one week at a time, no matter who lines up under center for the opponent, has this defense expecting perfection. Jamie Collins Sr. has led the front seven while McCourty and Stephon Gilmore lead the talented secondary as the Patriots defense has forced opponents to go three-and-out on 13 out of 37 drives this season; it also has forced a punt or turnover on downs on 89% of drives.
The Patriots defense will look to continue this remarkable run as they travel to a tough environment this Sunday to face the 3-0 Buffalo Bills. They will then head to Washington before returning home for a Thursday night showdown with the Daniel Jones-led New York Giants. The streak is going to end at some point, however, this defense is oozing with confidence and has a swagger to it that makes it near impossible for opposing offenses to find success.