Patriots

Bedard: Positive and negative Patriots trends and how they might turn in the second half

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At 8-1, much is going well for the Patriots as they emerge from the bye week and tackle the second half of their schedule.

That being said, even before this season, most looked at the Patriots' schedule and figured 8-0 was well within their grasp — they'd be favored in every game — and then we'd see after that. That's the way things played out.

An NFL season has many twists and turns, and so much changes both within a team and the league as a whole. It's very difficult to say because X has happened in the past, then Y will happen later in the season. So even trends are fleeting.

But we'll take a look at some numbers — both positive and negative — and forecast how they might work out in the second half as the Patriots build toward a seventh Super Bowl title.

POSITIVE TREND: Opponent passer rating inside the 30

2019: 35.6, 1st in NFL (Avg: 102.0)
2018: 94.5, 9th in NFL (Avg: 101.3)

Related stat: Patriots lead the league only allowing 12.5 percent of third downs in the red zone.

This is really an unbelievable number. It's just astounding how good the Patriots' defense has been in their own red zone, especially against the pass. Sure, the caliber of QBs faced has certainly been a factor, but I think this stat more than many others tells you how good the Patriots' defense is.

Second-half forecast: