Bedard’s Breakdown: Is the Patriots’ defense really this bad, and is there hope?

[get_snippet] [theme-my-login show_title=0]
(Adam Richins for BSJ)

By now, everyone knows the statistics that show the Patriots have the worst defense in the NFL through three games.

In case you needed a recap, the Patriots are:

  • Last in points per game
  • Last in total yards
  • Last in yards per play
  • Last in passing yards per game
  • Next-to-last in rushing yards per game
  • 30th in first downs per game
  • 30th in defensive passer rating
  • Tied for 30th in goal-to-go situations.

And it's not just real statistics; advanced analytics also reflect poorly on Bill Belichick's defense. has the Patriots last in total defense, 31st in pass defense and 28th against the run.

With that out of the way, we have to ask two questions: Have the Patriots really been that bad? And will they continue to be?