While any metrics have to be taken with a grain of salt, FootballOutsiders various efficiency metrics are about as close to telling the story as statistics can come. At least for football. Drive stats are my favorite since they go on a per possession basis. Some things to consider: FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2012 DRIVE STATS OFFENSE: The Patriots are in the top 5 in nearly every offensive category so far, in spite of a wretched performance against Arizona. That bodes well. I expect those numbers to wind up where they did last season, in the top 3 almost across the board. DEFENSE: The bend don't break Patriots are bending much less this year. Whereas last year they yielded the most yards per drive in the league, this year, they are 12th thus far. They continue to force turnovers at a high rate. In "Drive Success Rate", they rank 7th thus far, versus coming in at 30th last season. In terms of overall efficiency and DVOA, they are looking good: FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2012 TEAM EFFICIENCY RATINGS The offense would be tops in DVOA, and the Defense at 18th.