New England Patriots Defense Can Tie NFL Record on Sunday

Patriots Defense
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 15: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by Jason McCourty #30 after returning a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots defense is really good. Going back to Super Bowl LIII, the Patriots have allowed a combined six points to their last three opponents. This type of success in today’s NFL is simply unprecedented, and New England has a chance to join the elite ranks of NFL history. According to Pro Football Reference, only two teams in NFL history have gone four games while allowing three or fewer points. If New England can limit the Jets to a field goal in Week 3, they’ll tie that NFL record.

New England Patriots Defense Approaching Historic Territory

The Patriots actually have a decent shot of making history. New England faces off against an injury-riddled 0-2 New York Jets team in Week 3. Starting quarterback Sam Darnold has mono and backup quarterback Trevor Siemian is done for the year with an ankle injury. This leaves 2018 sixth-round pick Luke Falk under center against New England. Falk is on his third organization in two seasons and doesn’t stand much of a chance against this Patriots defense. Stephon Gilmore shut down Robby Anderson in the previous matchup, and Le’Veon Bell can only do so much.

Even if New England allows a touchdown against the Jets, this defense has already put up a historic three-game stretch. According to Pro Football Reference, no team has gone three consecutive games without allowing over three points since the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers did it back in 2000. Since then, rule changes and improved quarterback play have led to an exponential rise in scoring and offensive production. The fact that any team could do this against any three-game slate of opponent is impressive enough, but New England hasn’t had the easiest stretch of opponents over this timeframe.

New England’s three-game touchdown-free streak began in Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams had the second-best offense by DVOA, yet the defense limited Jared Goff and company to just three points. Stephon Gilmore had the game-clinching interception, Jason McCourty came out of nowhere to break up an easy touchdown to Brandin Cooks, and Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower overpowered the Rams offensive line.

The Patriots followed that up by limiting Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers to three points. The Steelers really only had one successful drive all night, yet didn’t get any points after failing on a fourth-down conversion. The only “easy” opponent during this three-game stretch was the Miami Dolphins. Miami might be a joke, but shutting out any NFL team is an impressive feat.

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