After Slow Start, Patriots Slide into First Place

Despite a rather slow start to the season for the defending Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots are starting to find their rhythm. After opening up the season on an embarrassing 42-27 loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots responded with back-to-back wins over the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans. A  heartbreaking home loss to the Carolina Panthers, 33-30 on a last-second field goal, put the Patriots at 2-2. Then on a short week, they went down to Tampa Bay and beat the Buccaneers in a Thursday night matchup.

Going into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, everyone knew what the Patriots weakness was, and it was on the defensive side of the ball. Statistically they have been the worst defense in the NFL, allowing over 440 yards per game. Teams led by pass quarterbacks are thriving against New England’s defense, which has allowed more than 324 passing yards per game. The run defense isn’t any better, allowing 115 yards per game, 20th in the NFL.

With all the struggles on the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots have had to rely on 40-year-old quarterback Tom Brady. Fortunately, Brady has been lighting it up this year. He has thrown 13 touchdowns and only two interceptions and is on pace to throw for over 5,000 yards this year. He leads the NFL, averaging 309 passing yards per game, with the help of his new weapon this year in Brandin Cooks. Cooks has been a great addition to the pass game this year, adding a downfield threat to the receiving core, something they haven’t seen since Randy Moss back in 2007. Chris Hogan leads the team with five touchdown receptions

On Sunday, their first AFC East showdown of the season, the Patriots beat the Jets, 24-17, and moved into first place in the division. This win brought them to 4-2 on the season, and saw the return of Rob Gronkowski who, after battling multiple injuries this year, bounced back well with two touchdowns.

Now the Patriots have a Super Bowl rematch this Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons are coming to New England, and we all know what happened the last time these two teams played. We should have a good game on Sunday Night.

Fun fact: Tom Brady became the most winningest quarterback of all time in the regular season, passing Peyton Manning, and Brett Favre with 187 wins.

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