Patriots

Bill Belichick issues statement following Patriots kneeling

Bill Belichick issues statement following Patriots kneeling

Bill Belichick issued the following statement on Monday, a day after 16 Patriots took a knee in protest of racial inequality and Donald Trump's comments against the NFL:

“I have immense respect and admiration for our players, for how they conduct themselves professionally as New England Patriots and for how they represent themselves, their families and community as men.  I have coached football for over four decades and one of the greatest things about being in this environment is the diversity of people, backgrounds, viewpoints and relationships we are fortunate to experience.  As with any large group of people, there is a variety of perspectives and opinions on many topics.  Discussions occur between myself, individual players, groups and the entire team on an ongoing basis.  They concern the team and other issues surrounding the team.  I am going to keep the specifics of those conversations private.  I will do what I feel is best for the team in my role as head coach and collectively, we will work together to find the best way to proceed.” 

RELATED: The Ex-Pat's Podcast: Troy Brown and Dan Koppen in-depth conversation on the weekend's events

MORE: 

Crazy stat highlights crazy contrast in success between Patriots, Knicks since 2018

Crazy stat highlights crazy contrast in success between Patriots, Knicks since 2018

The New England Patriots and New York Knicks are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of well-run sports franchises. 

The Patriots are the gold standard with 19 consecutive winning seasons, nine conference championships and six Super Bowl titles in the last 20 years. They are the NFL's greatest dynasty, and the party isn't over yet as Tom Brad and Co. sit atop the AFC standings with a 9-1 record entering Week 12.

The Knicks, meanwhile, have been an absolute disaster. Since the start of the 2001-02 season, New York has reached the playoffs just four times with zero conference finals appearances over that span. The Knicks haven't played in the postseason since 2012-13, and after an abysmal 3-10 start to the 2019-20 season, don't expect Madison Square Garden to host any NBA playoff games in the near future.

If you think that's bad enough for the Knicks, we're about to make it even worse by dropping a crazy stat. Since 2018, the Patriots and Knicks have won the same amount of regular season games despite New York playing in 69 more of them!

The worst part about the Knicks' situation is the misery doesn't appear to be ending any time soon. The Knicks don't have any generational talents (sorry, R.J. Barrett fans) despite consistently finishing near the bottom of the standings this decade. They also haven't been able to lure free agents despite the advantages the New York market provides, and the biggest failure might have come this summer when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving took their talents to the rival Brooklyn Nets instead of MSG.

The Patriots have set a tremendous example for other teams in all sports to follow, and it would behoove the Knicks and other poorly run franchises to look toward New England for guidance.

Updated NFL playoff picture entering Week 12>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Watch out, 2000 Ravens? Patriots defense still on pace to make history

Watch out, 2000 Ravens? Patriots defense still on pace to make history

Tom Brady admitted Monday morning that the New England Patriots' strengths are their defense and special teams.

He's not wrong -- especially about that defense.

The Patriots allowed just 10 points to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, holding Carson Wentz and Co. scoreless in the second half to escape with a 17-10 win.

That's the sixth time in 10 games New England has allowed 10 points or fewer, dropping its points allowed per game to 10.8, easily the lowest in the NFL. (The San Francisco 49ers are second at 15.5 points allowed per game.)

The Patriots' defensive effort Sunday also means they're very much in the running to have one of the best defenses in NFL history, even after giving up 37 points to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9.

Courtesy of Boston Sports Info on Twitter, check out how New England's defense sticks up with the 1985 Chicago Bears and 2000 Ravens -- widely considered the two best defenses of all time -- through 10 games.

The Patriots have allowed just three fewer points through 10 games than the Ravens, whose 165 points allowed during the 2000 season are the current NFL record.

And the 2019 Patriots — led by All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore and the "Boogeymen" linebacker corps of Dont'a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins — lead both the '85 Bears and '00 Ravens in point differential, opponent passer rating and touchdown passes allowed.

New England has feasted on some subpar competition, and keeping this historic pace won't be easy: Their next three opponents — the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs — all rank in the top 10 in points per game.

But the Patriots haven't had it much easier than either the '85 Bears or the '00 Ravens. Per Boston Sports Info, here's the combined winning percentage for each of these teams' first 10 opponents:

2000 Ravens: .440
1985 Bears: .420
2019 Patriots: .400

That data suggests the Patriots very much have a chance to make history if their defense keeps playing at this level. But here's the stat Bill Belichick and Co. probably care most about: The '85 Bears and '00 Ravens both won the Super Bowl.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.