The New England Patriots’ defense continues to perform like one of the best units in football. After only allowing a combined 13 points to the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns the last two weeks, it has now pitched its first shutout of the season: the Patriots, who registered four takeaways on the day, beat the Atlanta Falcons 25-0 on Thursday Night.
Led by standout Kyle Van Noy — the linebacker had two sacks and a pick-six — the unit left its opponent no chance. Sure, New England did get a bit lucky when a second quarter field goal attempt by Falcons kicker Youngnhoe Koo sailed wide to the left from 50 yards away, but the team repeatedly put Atlanta in difficult situation by making the stops it had to make.
As a result, the Falcons were shut out at home for the first time since 1988. The Patriots, meanwhile, can now celebrate the 13th shutout win of the Bill Belichick era:
- 2003/11/16: 12-0 vs. the Dallas Cowboys
- 2003/12/07: 12-0 vs. the Miami Dolphins
- 2003/12/27: 31-0 vs. the Buffalo Bills
- 2005/12/17: 28-0 vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 2006/11/19: 35-0 at the Green Bay Packers
- 2008/12/28: 13-0 at the Buffalo Bills
- 2009/10/18: 59-0 vs. the Tennessee Titans
- 2012/12/30: 28-0 vs. the Miami Dolphins
- 2016/09/22: 27-0 vs. the Houston Texans
- 2019/09/15: 43-0 at the Miami Dolphins
- 2019/10/21: 33-0 at the New York Jets
- 2020/12/06: 45-0 at the Los Angeles Chargers
- 2021/11/18: 25-0 at the Atlanta Falcons
“It’s a great place to be in having a well-rounded defense,” said center David Andrews after the game. “They made great plays all night, they really dominated. I have to compete with those guys every day. So I just have a lot of respect for what they do.”
New England’s defense finished the game having allowed just 165 yards of offense and 11 first downs. The unit also notched four interceptions as well as four sacks, holding Atlanta without points on two red zone trips.