Patriots

Where does Patriots offensive line rank among NFL's best? Pro Football Focus weighs in

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USA TODAY Sports

Where does Patriots offensive line rank among NFL's best? Pro Football Focus weighs in

The New England Patriots offensive line really shined in the playoffs last year, and it was a crucial component in the team winning Super Bowl LIII over the Los Angeles Rams.

The Pats o-line yielded only a single sack all playoffs and paved the way for the team to dominate opponents on the ground with 485 rushing yards and nine (!) touchdowns, four more scores than any other postseason participant.

New England's group also excelled in the regular season, helping the team earn an 11-5 record with the fifth-most rushing yards per game and the third-fewest sacks allowed.

The Patriots offensive line will look a bit different entering the 2019 season. Trent Brown, who started at left tackle last season, took his talents to the Oakland Raiders in NFL free agency. Backup tackle LaAdrian Waddle left in free agency to sign with the Buffalo Bills.

Isaiah Wynn, a 2018 first-round draft pick who missed his rookie campaign due to a torn Achilles, could play a key role and potentially start at left tackle.

So, where does the Patriots offensive line rank among all 32 teams? Pro Football Focus ranked New England at No. 6 in its latest list. Here's PFF's explanation:

For an organization that values consistency, the offensive line does not fall short of expectations. Shaq Mason found himself on PFF’s top 50 players heading into 2019 following a season where he earned career-high marks in a plethora of metrics including overall grade (85.0). We also ranked the Patriots’ duo as of Mason and Joe Thuney as the most-talented offensive guard tandem in the NFL. The Dante Scarnecchia-led unit will float among the top-ten offensive lines once again.

Tom Brady remains one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and part of the reason for his success, particularly of late, has been the stellar play of the Patriots offensive line. This group needs to give another strong performance in 2019 if the Patriots are going to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions since they accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004. With Scarnecchia back again to coach the o-line, the chances of an impressive showing from this group are pretty strong.

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Patriots defense make NFL history with performance through two games

Patriots defense make NFL history with performance through two games

The New England Patriots defense has played very well to start the season. In fact, they are performing historically well.

So far through two contests, the Patriots have allowed a minuscule three points in two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins. According to the ESPN Stats and Info Twitter account, that's tied for the fewest points allowed through two games during the Super Bowl era.

Of the three teams listed along with the Patriots, two made the playoffs but none of them made it to the Super Bowl. The Patriots will look to change that.

The Patriots have faced 22 drives this season and only one has ended in a score. Of the other drives, nine have ended in 3-and-outs and five have ended on interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns).

It's unlikely that the Patriots' success will continue on at this rate for the foreseeable future. But even if they regress a bit, they will still be one of the most powerful teams in the entire league and will sport one of the NFL's fiercest defenses. Either way, the Patriots defense is a strength and will surely give the Patriots a chance to make it to their fourth consecutive Super Bowl.

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NFL odds Week 3: Early spread for Patriots vs. Jets, all other games

NFL odds Week 3: Early spread for Patriots vs. Jets, all other games

The New England Patriots will be favored by more than two touchdowns for the second consecutive game when they take on the New York Jets in Week 3.

The Patriots destroyed the Miami Dolphins on the road Sunday in a 43-0 Week 2 win. New England's defense had seven sacks and four interceptions, while the offense was bolstered by the debut of newly signed wide receiver Antonio Brown. The 31-year-old veteran caught four passes from Tom Brady, tallying 56 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Oddsmakers pegged the Patriots as 18.5-point favorites against the Dolphins, and the defending Super Bowl champions easily covered the spread. With the Pats ready to host the Jets on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, oddsmakers again are making New England a massive favorite entering Week 3. The Jets also are expected to start backup quarterback Trevor Siemian against the Patriots because starter Sam Darnold is battling mono.

Here are the early spreads for every Week 3 game (via the Westgate Superbook):

The most notable spread on that list is the Dallas Cowboys being favored by 20.5-points over the Dolphins. The Cowboys are 2-0, and their high-powered offense led by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott should easily be able to move the ball against a Dolphins defense that's given up 102 points over the first two weeks of the season.

The Dolphins have played so poorly that the Westgate Superbook is taking prop bets on them to finish the season 0-16 (the book also has odds on the Patriots going 16-0).

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