<
>

Scouting report: Early look at the Pats

10/17/2012

Two words that always increase the heart rate of every Jets fan -- Patriots week. Let's take a quick look at the Belichicks:

1. The big news about the Patriots is they're 3-3, coming off a brutal road loss to the Seahawks. The last time they didn't have a winning record after six games was 2003, when they were also 3-3.

2. As you know, every team in the AFC East is 3-3. This is the first time in 25 years that every team in a division enters a week with the same record in Week 6 or later, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

3. Yes, the Patriots already have equalled their loss total from last season, but keep in mind they've lost by a combined total of only four points -- two points to the Cards, one point to the Ravens and one point to the Seahawks.

4. It wouldn't be a surprise if Tom Brady's arm is tired this week. He threw a career-high 58 passes in Seattle. Brady still is Brady (97.1 passer rating), but he made a few bad decisions and his pass protection continues to be spotty (13 sacks).

5. The Patriots' up-tempo offense is operating at a breakneck pace. They've run a league-high 471 plays, nearly 100 more than their opponents. They've recorded at least 440 total yards in three straight games, tied for the longest single-season streak of the Brady-Bill Belichick era. They average a league-high 8.2 yards on first-and-10 pass plays. WR Wes Welker continues to be a pain in the rear, with 48 receptions for 622 yards and two touchdowns.

6. Despite Brady's greatness, the Patriots have become run reliant -- just like, you know, normal teams. They're 3-0 when designed rushes make up at least half their plays, 0-3 when they don't.

7. Their pass defense ... ugh! Year after year, it continues to haunt the Patriots. You'd think a coach as smart as Belichick would be able to solve the problem, but injuries and poor play have left the secondary a mess. They're allowing 288 passing yards per game, as opposing QBs have thrown 15 TDs for a 100.9 passer rating.

8. A defensive bright spot is rookie DE Chandler Jones, who was drafted after Quinton Coples and already has five sacks. Go ahead, groan Jets fans.