The Baltimore Ravens are scary right now. The more time that passes, the more impressive their week 9 win over the Patriots becomes. Why? Because despite that dud earlier this month, New England’s defense is still on pace to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest defense of all-time.
Since giving up 37 points to Lamar Jackson’s squad, the Pats have returned to their first-half form and stifled the Eagles and Cowboys, so much so that they managed to win back-to-back games scoring 17 points or less for the first time since 1988.
While the Baltimore loss solidified the argument that the Patriots had been benefiting from a weak schedule, their efforts in the past two weeks have retired that narrative. The Eagles had been averaging 338.4 yards and 22.1 points per game before the boogeymen held them to 255 and 10. The Cowboys came into Sunday afternoon’s match-up with the NFL’s best offense, averaging 445 yards and 28.6 points per game on the season. The Pats kept them out of the end zone and allowed them past the 50 just once in the second half. A team that had been 52.1% on third down conversions came into Foxboro and went 2-for-13 (15.4%).
The Pats have now allowed 117 points this season. Only seven teams in NFL history have held opponents to less than 200 points in a full season since the league went to a 16-game regular season in 1978, and all seven of those teams allowed more than 117 points through their first 11 games.
As it stands, this defensive unit is on pace to give up 170 points this season. That’s only five more than the record-holding 2000 Baltimore Ravens.
FEWEST POINTS ALLOWED IN SINGLE SEASON
- 2000 Baltimore Ravens, 165
2019 New England Patriots (on pace), 170
- 1986 Chicago Bears, 187
- 2000 Tennessee Titans, 191
- 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, 195
- 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 196
- 1978 Denver Broncos, 198
- 1985 Chicago Bears, 198
The Patriots’ offense has been less than satisfactory, but the good news is that it’s more important to have an elite defense than an elite offense. They’ll take on the seventh best offense in football next week when they face the the Texans in Houston.