By Steve Silverman
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For those who listened to the specialists this summer time, you heard many longtime NFL observers speak about the potential for a sixteen-zero common season for the New England Patriots adopted by the staff’s sixth Tremendous Bowl championship.
Those self same specialists additionally talked concerning the risk — and even probability — of the Jets going zero-sixteen. These estimates have been based mostly on the workforce’s obvious obvious lack of expertise on the offensive aspect of the ball.
Nevertheless, a fast examine of the standings heading into the Week 6 assembly at MetLife Stadium exhibits the groups tied for first place within the AFC East with three-2 data, together with the equally shocking Buffalo Payments.
MORE: Extremely, Jets Getting ready For First-Place Showdown With Patriots
The prognosticators appeared to get each the Patriots and Jets mistaken. There’s loads of time for the Pats to seek out themselves, and for the Jets to as soon as once more disintegrate, however as of now, these groups are equals.
“You’re what your report says you’re,” Invoice Parcells famously stated, a quote that turned a part of his NFL credo.
The most important difficulty for the Patriots via the early a part of the season has been shockingly poor play on protection. New England had the No. 1 scoring protection within the league a yr in the past, however this yr it’s tied for thirtieth with the Tennessee Titans, permitting 28.four factors per recreation. Solely the Indianapolis Colts are worse, giving up 31.eight per recreation.
The rationale for the downturn has been two-fold. The Patriots haven’t put vital strain on opposing quarterbacks, they usually haven’t accomplished an excellent job in protection.
The Pats are additionally final in yards allowed, whilst they’re first in yards gained and third in factors scored.
That’s a method for catastrophe within the NFL, regardless of how good a group’s offense is.
Invoice Belichick and Matt Patricia have been hoping that finish Trey Flowers can be the breakout star of the protection after recording 7 sacks final yr, and a couple of half within the postseason. Flowers has three 1/2 presently, and is on tempo to supply double digits, however he isn’t getting sufficient assist from his teammates aside from fellow finish Deatrich Clever, who has three sacks.
The Pats have gotten rid of stars like Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins in recent times, and they’re paying the worth for these strikes this yr.
As for the secondary, former…