Patriots

Bedard’s Breakdown: Are the Patriots going old school in their new offensive/defensive approach?

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

Unless you wear Patriots-colored glasses, the following statements are facts:

  • The Patriots have struggled to find consistent offense and big plays on a series-by-series basis in recent weeks;
  • The Patriots have taken a more aggressive approach on defense in the previous two weeks.

If you really need evidence of the former (you shouldn't) consider New England is seventh in points — certainly good in relation to the rest of the league, but an area they haven't been since 2009, '08, '06 and '05. Not one of those units is considered close to a good Patriots' offense during the Tom Brady era. Just because you have names like Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, James White and Josh Gordon on the field shouldn't change the fact that this -- to this point -- is an average Patriots' offense.

In recent games, these New England's offensive point totals through three quarters (or very close to it): 17 at Chicago, 12 at Buffalo, 17 vs. Green Bay, 10 at Tennessee (full game), 13 at Jets late in third, 10 vs. Minnesota until late in the third.

Last year, the Patriots had 34 at Denver, 30 vs. Oakland, 10 at Miami (loss), 16 at Buffalo (playoff team) late in the third.

In short, this New England team doesn't look like it's going to be outscoring many of the average-to-good defenses around the NFL (before you bring up Kansas City, the Chiefs are 26th in DVOA).

In terms of the defense being more aggressive against the Jets and Vikings, I think we've covered that.

The results speak for themselves, but I've uncovered some more numbers that underscore what I think is going on with this Patriots team and what it all means.