The New England Patriots won on Sunday, improving their perfect record to 4-0. The offense was terrible, with Tom Brady completing less than 50% of his passes and ending their best drive of the game with a bad interception in the end zone. And yet, the Patriots held off the Buffalo Bills because of the strength of the defense and special teams units.
The defense had another dominating performance, with five more sacks, and four more interceptions. New England’s defenders were consistently in the backfield in Josh Allen’s face, forcing him to throw off his back foot regularly, causing most of the interceptions he threw. This defense has a chance to be special, and the numbers they’re putting early in the season up are pretty amazing.
The unit is currently on pace for 72 sacks and 40 interceptions. That pace would put it in a tie for sacks in a single season with the ‘84 Chicago Bears, but the interceptions mark was set by the then-San Diego Chargers in 1981, and it’s 49, so the Patriots would have to outpace what they have already done so far.
Scoring is another area where they are on a record pace. They’ve only allowed 13 offensive points through four games, which puts them on pace to allow a paltry 52 points this season, which would be the second fewest of all time, only behind the 1932 Bears. The Bears of 2019 have allowed the second fewest points this season, and they have already allowed 45. Even though it would be extremely unlikely they’ll come close to the record set by the ‘32 Bears (especially since they’re playing some high-powered offenses), it is conceivable that they could be the #1 scoring defense in 2019.
Last week, we talked about how how Jamie Collins Sr. was emerging as a star, and he continued his dominance, with another sack and interception, but it was another player who stole the show this weekend. J.C. Jackson, or Jerald, as Matthew Slater would call him, had two interceptions, and a blocked punt which Slater returned for a touchdown. Jackson had been a little bit of a forgotten name on the defense, but, after yesterday, everyone remembers his name.
Next up is the Washington Redskins, who haven’t allowed less than 24 points in a game this season, and just changed quarterbacks mid-game this weekend. It should be a good chance for the offense to get back on track. And if Dwayne Haskins stays at QB and Bill Belichick’s track record against rookie quarterbacks continues, the defense should be ready to feast as well. Only time will tell how long the defense will continue on its record pace, but, for now, I’m just enjoying watching the dominance.
Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
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