Patriots

Patriots on pace to best the 2000 Ravens for fewest points allowed in a season

Patriots on pace to best the 2000 Ravens for fewest points allowed in a season

Every week there are multiple statistical feats that the Patriots defense accomplishes.

Whether it's not allowing their opponent to score a touchdown for three weeks, becoming the first team since 1996 to record 18 interceptions over its first seven games, or totaling the highest point differential through seven games since 1940, the Patriots are routinely earning themselves a place among the league's best teams ever. 

As they continue to show no signs of slowing down, a record set by the 2000 Ravens has come into focus. As Christopher Price points out, the Patriots are well on pace to allow fewer points than the Super Bowl-winning Baltimore defense led by Ray Lewis. The Ravens allowed 75 points through their first seven games and 165 points for the season.

The Patriots have only allowed 48 points and are the first team to allow fewer than 50 points and open the season 7-0 since 1934. This puts them on pace for a season total around 109 points, which would obliterate the NFL record. 

Forget about becoming a sub-200 defense, the Patriots have been so good that they could be flirting with a sub-100 season during the latter half of the year. 

Of course, there's the caveat of weak competition. They've had matchups with the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Steelers and two games against the Jets. That's not exactly a murderer's row of opponents, but there's a reason so few teams have been able to put up the kind of numbers the Patriots defense has in the first two months of the 2019 season. 

Next week they have the Browns, who had high expectations coming into the year but have predictably faltered out of the gate. Their offensive line is bad and Baker Mayfield has been prone to make some costly mistakes when under heavy pressure. So there's more than a good chance more of these posts will be written next week as the New England defense continues to suffocate any team it comes across. 

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Rich Eisen on 'positively absurd' Spygate 2.0

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: Rich Eisen on 'positively absurd' Spygate 2.0

Like most of the rest of the NFL world, Rich Eisen of the NFL Network is amazed that we are talking about what has become known as Spygate 2.0 - the Patriots again being accused of taping an opposing teams' sideline - and the repercussions surrounding it. 

He joined Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast to provide a little national perspective on the controversy and his first reaction was how "positively absurd" it was that the Pats are being accused of the same behavior that they were punished for back in 2007.

"If the Patriots did attempt something like this again, how remarkably brazen it would be?" Eisen told Curran. "I couldn't imagine being in that press box and seeing that happen? That's what makes it so positively absurd. How does anybody that represents anything to do with the Patriots not know you're not supposed to shoot the other team's sideline?''

Eisen predicted that the Patriots' admission of a "unintended oversight" in taping the sideline of the Cincinnati Bengals while they were playing the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday and Bill Belichick's adamant denial of knowing anything about the operation, won't prevent a hefty fine from being leveled by the NFL against the team. 

I'm sure there are a lot of people who are breathing fire at One Patriot Place," Eisen said. "Even if it was a clueless botched operation, I think the Patriots get fined. They still shot video of another teams' sideline and bottom line is that's a no-no, an absolute no-no.

"I'm assuming its a hefty fine for the team that's coming."

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE: 

Eisen's comments come near the end of the episode. Former Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel joins Curran earlier and talks about how the original Spygate accusations back in '07 were a motivating factor for a Patriots team that went on to a 16-0 regular season.

"We were shocked at how it took on a life of its own," Cassel recalled. "It honestly was comical the way they took it, with people thinking we had it all figured out, we filmed them and we knew all their signs. The best thing that possibly could've happened is we came out for the rest of the season after the knowledge that Spygate took place and everyone saying 'That's why they won their Super Bowls' and we just dominated." 

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Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots continue to slide in AFC

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AP Images

Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots continue to slide in AFC

Through 13 weeks, it’s become clear that there are six good teams in the AFC and one very good, maybe great team. The Ravens are a complete team: offense, defense, special teams, coaching, situationally smart, tough, you name it.

Everybody else has the flaw that they’ll either need to cover up or overcome in the playoffs to get past Baltimore.