We’re past the point of debating whether or not the Patriots have an all-time great defense. The fact that their numbers are comparable to (actually significantly better than) the 1985 Bears and the 2000 Ravens is absolutely not a result of their weak schedule so far. Why? Because that argument can apply to those two legendary units as well, but no one ever talks about that. Just take a look at the quarterbacks they faced:
2019 Patriots – 1985 Bears – 2000 Ravens
Thru 7 games
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) October 22, 2019
So now that we’ve debunked that argument, let’s go over the numbers.
Through their first seven games:
The 1985 Bears allowed 315.5 yards per game
The 2000 Ravens allowed 259.9 yards per game
The 2019 Patriots? 223.8 yards per game
Dating back to last year’s Super Bowl, the Patriots defense has allowed 30 points through 8 games. That puts them on pace to allow 60 over a 16-game span. The record for fewest points allowed by a defense in a single 16-game season is 141 by the 2000 Ravens. The Pats could potentially allow less than half of that.
They’ve held 3 of their 7 opponents under 200 yards. They’ve held 4 of their 7 opponents out of the end zone. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown one touchdown and 18 interceptions against them. Those 18 interceptions have already matched their season total from a year ago with 9 games remaining. I could go on all day. The point is these guys are for real. Despite Sam Darnold’s ill-advised comments last week, this defense does not have any weaknesses. Darnold learned that quickly on Monday night when he admitted to “seeing ghosts”. The 22 year-old looked as uncomfortable as any quarterback you’ll ever see, but that’s what you get when inexperience meets one of the greatest defensive units in the history of the National Football League.
The parade of dominance continues next week at Gillette when the Pats feast on Baker Mayfield and the Browns.