Patriots

Why have Patriots started fast in 2019? Tom Brady gives fitting answer

Why have Patriots started fast in 2019? Tom Brady gives fitting answer

The New England Patriots have not won fewer than 11 games in any season this decade, and that trend is very unlikely to end in 2019.

The defending Super Bowl champions are 6-0 entering their Week 7 road game against the rival New York Jets on "Monday Night Football." New England is undefeated at this juncture of the season for the first time since 2015.

The Patriots have struggled to start fast several times in recent seasons. Here's a look at the their record through the first four games of the last eight campaigns (including 2019):

2019: 4-0
2018: 2-2
2017: 2-2
2016: 3-1
2015: 4-0
2014: 2-2
2013: 4-0
2012: 2-2

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked Wednesday during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio if there's anything different about the team this season that's leading to the fast start. 

"Our defense has given us, I think, that ability (to start fast this season), because the way they've been playing," Brady said. "They've been playing that way all the way back into the spring. They're just doing a great job. They have a lot of great continuity. The secondary -- look how long they've played together. The group of linebackers -- look how long they've played together. What they're doing to get to the quarterback, and they have such a good mix of players who can rush and cover.

"We've been gettng ahead of teams. Our defense has really been thriving -- leading the league in turnovers, leading the league in sacks, what they've been doing on third downs has been incredible. I think they've just been playing so spectacular that it's given our team a huge boost."

The Patriots defense is off to a historic start. The unit has allowed the fewest points per game (8.0) and yards per game (234.7) of any team through the first six weeks. The pass rush also has been tremendous, and as Brady noted, the defense leads the league in sacks and turnovers (including a league-high 14 interceptions). The Patriots' point differential of plus-142 is the best in the league, and well ahead of the San Francisco 49ers (plus-83) in second place.

New England's fast start has allowed it to build an early lead in the race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Patriots fell short of this goal last season, even though it ultimately didn't matter after they beat the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in the AFC Championship Game. But the Patriots should absolutely chase that seed this season because they are almost unbeatable at home. In fact, they've won 19 consecutive games at Gillette Stadium, including the playoffs.

The Patriots' fast start in 2019 should go a long way in ensuring the road to Super Bowl LIV in Miami goes down Route 1 in Foxboro. 

Phillip Dorsett gives encouraging update on his Week 7 status>>>

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Luka Doncic: 'Great player' Jaylen Brown 'deserves the contract he got'

Luka Doncic: 'Great player' Jaylen Brown 'deserves the contract he got'

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown has silenced his doubters with a hot start to the 2019-20 NBA season, and one of the league's best young stars is impressed.

Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic, who scored a game-high 34 points in a 116-106 loss to the Celtics on Monday night, has plenty of praise for Brown after the game. 

It's still very early in the season, but the four-year, $115 million contract Brown signed before the season has looked like a great deal for the C's so far.

He's averaging 19.8 points and 7.2 rebounds, while shooting 53 percent from the field in 31.3 minutes per game. Brown scored 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds in Boston's win over the Mavs at TD Garden. His best performance of the season came Saturday night in San Antonio, where the 23-year-old guard poured in 30 points.

Brown is a key part of the Celtics' present and future, and with veteran forward Gordon Hayward out for the next six weeks after hand surgery, the 2016 first-round pick has a tremendous opportunity to establish himself as an All-Star player in the Eastern Conference.

Takeaways from Celtics' win vs. Mavs>>>

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Matt Cassel on inherent pressure put on former Patriots QBs

Patriots Talk Podcast: Matt Cassel on inherent pressure put on former Patriots QBs

Former Patriots QB Matt Cassel joins Tom E. Curran for this episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

1:00 — Tom Curran takes us back to the Patriots 2017 season, discussing how strange the year seemed from the very beginning and how the Pats' Super Bowl LIII victory over the Rams the following season was cathartic for the team.

7:05 — Matt Cassel joins Tom to talk about how watching a weekend of football without the Patriots made them realize just how disciplined and organized Bill Belichick's team is.

14:31 — With the fallout of Jimmy Garoppolo losing his first game of the season on Monday night, Tom wonders if there is extra pressure put on quarterbacks formerly in the Patriots' system. Matt gives deeper insight into what it's like being Tom Brady's backup.

24:10 — Who is your NFL MVP through 10 weeks? Tom and Matt debate if Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson has a better claim.

28:01 — Matt says the Patriots' upcoming game against the Eagles will "set the tone for the rest of the season." Tom and Matt talk about the last time these two teams played — Super Bowl LII — and how that loss affected the Patriots.

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE:

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