Scouting report: Early look at the Pats

October, 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.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter



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