By: Ian Logue
After beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 in London on Sunday, New England now heads into their bye week at 5-2 as they get set for the stretch run of their season.
So far through seven games, while all hasn’t exactly been perfect, fans have plenty of reason to be optimistic. Their two losses have been by a combined 10 points (7 against the Jets, 3 against Denver), and came while quarterback Tom Brady was still trying to get his feet back under him. Two weeks, 94 points, and over 1,000 yards later things look completely different. Brady’s back to lighting up the league and appears to be back on the same page with his receivers, while New England’s defense is younger, faster, and is back to making plays.
Needless to say looking at numbers there are plenty of reasons why Patriots fans should be feeling pretty good about this football team heading into the second half of the season.
A quick look for those who are wondering where they rank:
Patriots Total Offense Ranking:
Offensive Average Total Yards Per Game: 406 (Rank: 3rd)
Offensive Total Yards: 2842 (Rank: 1st)
First Downs Per game: 23.9 (Rank; 1st)
3rd Down Efficiency: 44.8% (Rank: 5th)
Points Per Game: 28.3 (Rank: 4th)
Avg Time of Possession: 34:22 (Rank: 1st)
Concerned about the play of Tom Brady? Here is how he ranks against the rest of the NFL’s elite:
Brady’s 2009 Ranking Through 7 Games:
Completions: 179 (Rank: 1st)
Attempts: 273 (Rank: 1st)
Total Yards: 2032 (Rank: 3rd)
Touchdowns: 15 (Rank: Tied for 2nd)
Interceptions: 4 (Fewer than 19 other QB’s, tied with Peyton Manning & Tony Romo)
Passer rating: 99.9 (Rank: 8th)
Wondering about the Patriots offensive line? Brady’s been sacked just 8 times, tied with two other quarterbacks for six fewest in the NFL.
As for their defense, they’ve been much better than anyone could have anticipated, and have the Patriots among the NFL’s best:
Defensive 2009 Rankings Through 7 Games:
Points Per Game Allowed: 14.0 (Rank: 3rd)
Yards Per Game Alowed: 285.7 (Rank: 6th)
Passing Yards Per Game Allowed: 176.3 (Rank: 5th)
Forced Fumbles: 8 (Only 4 other teams have more)
Fumble Recoveries: 6 (Only 2 other teams have more)
Interceptions: 7 (Only 6 teams have more)
Needless to say there’s plenty to feel good about heading into the latter part of the season. Two close losses and a team that is starting to put it all together should give you plenty of reasons to like their chances in the coming weeks. With matchups against two of the NFL’s elite (Indianapolis & New Orleans) we’ll find out what kind of team we really have. Let’s face it, the numbers don’t lie. Thankfully from all indications they’re already on their way to joining them.