Patriots

These stats show Patriots' pass defense has greatly improved since bye week

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USA TODAY Sports Images

These stats show Patriots' pass defense has greatly improved since bye week

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and likely NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes will present several challenges for the New England Patriots pass defense in Sunday's AFC Championship Game, but this unit is playing its best football of the season. 

Since returning from their bye week in Week 12 -- with two weeks to watch film of their 34-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 10 -- the Patriots' pass defense has been a shutdown group. These advanced stats help illustrate the dominance from this defensive unit over the last seven games.

The Patriots beat Mahomes and the Chiefs in Week 6 at home, but they allowed the young QB to throw for 352 yards and four touchdowns en route to scoring 40 points. New England did tally two interceptions, but Mahomes still carved up the defense with relative ease.

The key to making Mahomes' job more difficult on Sunday is pressuring him. The Patriots didn't sack him once in that Week 6 meeting, but their pass rush has been much improved of late. New England's defense frustrated Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throughout last week's AFC Divisional Round win, including two sacks, an interception and many QB pressures.

The Pats will need to give their best defensive performance of the season to beat Mahomes again, and the next-gen stats above show there's reason to believe New England will rise to the challenge.

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Goodell: No NFL discipline of Kraft until court case resolved

Goodell: No NFL discipline of Kraft until court case resolved

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters at the league's spring meetings on Wednesday that the NFL will take no disciplinary action against Robert Kraft until the Patriots owner's solicitation of prostitution case is resolved.

Also Wednesday, Judge Leonard Hanser indefinitely postponed Kraft's trial until the appeal by prosecutors of Hanser's decision to suppress the use of video evidence obtained at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Police say those videos show Kraft paying for sex when he the spa twice in a 24-hour period in January.

Kraft issued a public apology after the arrest and has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of solicitation.

The appeal over the videos won't be heard until at least Sept. 4. The Patriots open their season Sept. 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium, meaning Kraft will likely still be waiting for the resolution of his court case and any discipline from the NFL when the team's sixth Super Bowl championship banner is raised in a ceremony before that "Sunday Night Football" opener.

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Patriots treat fans to video of Julian Edelman's best mic'd up moments

Patriots treat fans to video of Julian Edelman's best mic'd up moments

The last few days have been fun for Julian Edelman.

The New England Patriots wide receiver agreed to a much-deserved two-year contract extension with the team Tuesday, and on Wednesday he celebrated his 33rd birthday.

The Patriots gave fans a treat Wednesday by posting a video to Twitter of Edelman's best mic'd up moments, including footage from multiple Super Bowl wins.

Check out the highlights and laughs in the video below:

Edelman has one of the best personalities on the Patriots, and with him signed through 2021 as a result of his extension, fans should expect many more great mic'd moments from the Super Bowl LIII MVP.

Brady, other NFL players react to Edelman's extension>>>

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