Pats fans are beginning to peek down the schedule ahead and they’re thinking, ‘Who can this team really lose to?’ after throttling the lowly Jets 30-14 on Sunday.
Yes, it’s probably a dumb and arrogant thing to think but hey we’re Pats fans it’s what we do for the most part. Ever since we nearly got to take a sip from the Holy Grail of perfection in 2007 there have been times like this where fans think they can really do it again but this time…finish the job. It arises the question though- is this realistic or delusional?
The last time the possibility popped up was in 2015 when the Patriots started 10-0 but the injury bug hit them hard as they lost Julian Edelman among other key starters and lost four of their final six games.
The difference between that team and this year’s version is that we haven’t seen a defense this dominant in quite some time. I know the opponents have been very weak but this may be the best New England defense in 15 years, it may even be better than the 03/04 championship D’s but we shall see.
Through three games the defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown (and if you want to go back to Super Bowl LIII, it’s been a four game streak). They’re actually the first defense in the Super Bowl era to not give up a touchdown in the first three games of the season, that’s remarkable. If the defense keeps this up it’s easy to not see them losing a game, it’s hard to lose when you don’t give up touchdowns…
How about that offense though? Yeah they’ve scored 106 points through three games but I actually have my worries. First off, I’m SO glad that Antonio Brown is out of here, I didn’t want to root for that scumbag. Okay so we got that out of the way…so Brady has looked terrific as always, my only concern there at the moment is keeping him upright. The offensive line is very banged up and they haven’t done the best job at protecting Brady. However, Dante Scarnecchia aka the linemen whisperer will most definitely get the line where it needs to be going forward.
A week ago we had the most stacked receiver group in the game and now we’ve got Gunner Olszewski and Jakobi Meyers lining up out there after Edelman got injured (chest) yesterday. Jules is likely okay (fingers crossed) but it seems the depth at WR is going to be tested. Meyers has been a great story after making the team in training camp and when he’s been thrown to he’s done well, but let’s see how it goes when he needs to be relied on more.
Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett have done a great job, picking up where they left off last season. Gordon has been dropping jaws with his catches in traffic and Dorsett is a catching machine, no matter where you throw it. If those two can stay healthy the offense should be good enough.
Now onto my biggest concern with the offense, the running game.
New England’s sixth championship was built with a running game and defense. The same runningbacks are still here but they just haven’t had much success gashing defenses just yet. Sony Michel had offseason surgery and it seems they are still easing him back in but he hasn’t been running well at all through contact. Rex Burkhead has been very reliable/versatile but on the ground he hasn’t had consistent yardage. James White’s production (8 receptions for 75 yards) is a little down compared to usual but I’m not worried about him at all (missed game three to see his child be born!).
Overall there obviously isn’t much to be worried about. If healthy the team is a shoe in to win 12-14 games and gain a number one see, however health is certainly a big IF. The undefeated talk is fun and all, and they may even flirt with perfection, but in New England the main focus is championships and this team should win one this year.