After their win over the Atlanta Falcons, the New England Patriots have won five straight and now hold the second-best point differential (+123).
People will have reservations about this Patriots version, now that Tom Brady has passed away.
How long will it take to make that happen? Making it to the playoffs. Reclaiming the title of division champion? A playoff win? No one knows the outcome, but we can be sure that the goal will keep moving until something noteworthy is achieved.
These statistics prove that the Patriots are Super Bowl candidates
3. Running game continues to improve
Mac Jones may be setting the gold standard for first-year quarterbacks but the Patriots are all about their defense and playing smash mouth football.
If we only think about the running game, Rhamondre Stephenson’s emergence over the past two games could make New England one the most formidable one-two punches in the league at the running back position.
The Patriots have 469 rushing yards in the last three games. This is the third-most by any team over that time. No surprise, this streak of dominance began when Stevenson became more involved.
Damien Harris and Stevenson were made for playoff football. Both players love the chance to run between tackles. They are open to contact. As the temperature drops as we enter December and January, the defenders will not hesitate to tackle the Pats’ RB pair.
New England is able to run as long as their offensive line keeps its word.
2. Defense refuses to concede
Do you remember the time when the Patriots defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed? Everyone got flashbacks back to 2020. This new group has learned how to play together, so it almost seems like continuity is important.
The Patriots defense has allowed seven points in their last 23 possessions and scored 13 points. In 19 consecutive possessions, they have not conceded a single point. Over the three previous games, they’ve allowed 13 points and 622 yard (207.3 on average).
Yes, it was against the Falcons, Browns, and Panthers. But, last time we checked Baker Mayfield, Matt Ryan, and Matt Ryan were quality quarterbacks.
Does this defense remind you of the Patriots in the early 2000s? There aren’t many household names, except Matt Judon. There are a few fundamentally sound players that love to make big hits and know their roles.
Although we still have reservations about Judon, Kyle Van Noy and Christian Barmore’s secondary, if they continue to create pressure that will only allow JC Jackson (who just added to his tally) and Kyle Dugger to generate turnovers from rushed and errant throws.
This is a champion-level defense. We’ll soon have the opportunity to see their skills in action as the Patriots take on the Titans, Bills, and Colts over the next month.
1. Mac Jones-Tom Brady comparison
We’re not like other Patriots fans and we won’t point out the similarities between Mac Jones, Tom Brady, or any other Patriots fan.
The Alabama product is in many ways a mirror of the 44-year old legend. But we know better than not to compare a rookie with a seven-time champion, and the consensus greatest player to have ever graced the NFL.
However, their stats for the past 10 games (11 in Jones’ case) are nearly identical. Here’s how they looked before Thursday.
Brady: 7-3 record, 66.1% completion percentage, 203.6 yards per game, 16 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 94.5 rating
Jones: 6-4 record, 69.0% completion percentage, 233.3 yards per game, 13 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 94.1 rating
This has to count for something. Jones is accurate and takes care football, even if you don’t want to have this conversation. These qualities are conducive to championship football.
Yes, he did make a poor-looking interception against Atlanta. He was greedy, and it paid off. He’s the kind of QB who won’t repeat the same mistakes twice.
Jones was also 22-for-26 (84.6%) Thursday, becoming the first rookie to achieve at least 80% completion in consecutive games. He is third in this category at 70.2% for the season.
Jones’s greatest quality is his willingness to do what is asked. The Patriots are blessed with a selfless quarterback and an unflagging running game.