Going back to the week after the infamous Browns game last year, here are the total points scored by the Patriots in each game, leading up to last week: 39, 31, 45, 45, 36, 31, 34, 38, 21, 38, 35, 31, 31, 30, 20, 17, 20, 37, 34, 38, 31, 34, 41, 27, 49, 45 Over that span, the Patriots have averaged 33.76 points per game. They have scored at least 30 points in 21 of 26 games. They have scored at least three touchdowns in 23 of 26 games. The only games where they did not score at least three touchdowns, and where they fell significantly short of their normal output, were weeks 6-9 this season. Much of the unadmitted fear about Sunday's game concerns not only the defense, but also the Patriots offense. It comes from both the playoff loss to the Jets last year (chalked up to poor play in the biggest games), and the three consecutive subpar games this year (where we faced both Pittsburgh and the Giants- two teams who are perceived to be similar to Baltimore in that they have a strong pass rush and play physical.) But is the latter point justified? Was there a reason why the offense was out of sync against Dallas, Pittsburgh, and the Giants, or was it the defenses themselves? The pattern of scores, which I posted above, suggests that this had more to do with an internal problem or injury than with the opponent's style of defense. I welcome you to speculate on this, and whether you think there is a defense that has been able to shut down a healthy Patriots team yet, with the exception of the Jets debacle last year.