The Pats have begun the season with a 5-0 record, but most of those wins came against below-average teams. So is New England’s mark really that impressive?
The Patriots have not lost a game through the first five weeks of the season, and they have a real chance to be 6-0 when the team wakes up Friday morning. New England is one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the league, along with the San Fransisco 49ers.
In this first stretch of the season, New England is outscoring their opponents by a total score of 155-34. To be fair, their first five opponents have been the Steelers, Dolphins, Jets, Bills, and Redskins. The Buffalo Bills are the only decent team out of that bunch, and New England only beat them by six points.
So is their 5-0 record as good as it sounds?
No, but it should not be disregarded either. When great teams play bad teams, they should dominate those games. New England has done that against the bad teams they’ve played. They beat the Steelers by 30, the Dolphins by 43, the Jets by 16, and the Redskins by 26.
The Bills have a top tier defense and were at home, so I consider that game a quality win for New England. Aside from that, there is no dispute that their defense is for real. They have been the driving force of the run they’re on.
That’s not to say that the offense has played poor. Tom Brady is having a good start to his season: he has thrown for 10 touchdowns, two interceptions, and 1,409 yards. New England’s upcoming game against the New York Giants is another game that the Patriots should win fairly easily.
The true gauge to see how good this team really is comes in Week 9 of the NFL schedule, when the Patriots travel to face the Baltimore Ravens in a tough AFC road environment. By that point, the Patriots will have also traveled to face the New York Jets (who might have Sam Darnold back) as well as having played the Cleveland Browns at home. If New England conquers all three opponents (Jets, Browns, Ravens), they’ll hit their bye week undefeated and sitting pretty at 9-0.
As far as their current win streak, I would not put too much stock in it. Although, it is important to start the season off strong, and I believe they will be 8-0 going into their game against the Ravens.
People will bring up their weak schedule no matter how many wins in a row they can pull off, but we will see how good this team really is in the playoffs, when we separate the real contenders from the pretenders.