Hi all...longtime lurker here, just thought I'd share some thoughts on the upcoming game vs. the Bengals. Below are major defensive stats for the Pats so far: Stat (NFL Rank) Points per Game: 11.7 (2nd) Total Yards per Game: 207 (1st) Pass Yards per Game: 133 (2nd) Rush Yards per Game: 74 (4th) First Downs per Game: 14 (2nd) As we know, those are pretty nice, but how much do they mean, especially in terms of rankings? The first thing many people do when they see gaudy stats like that is to question the quality of the opposition. The Bills are obviously in bad shape, but the media has made a lot of the fact that the Jets and Chargers were playoff teams last year, and they especially emphasize that SD was on top of the league and had very little player turnover. But we all know that last year means squat this year, so what are they REALLY like this year? Well, one thing to look at is how the Jets, Chargers, and Bills have played against opponents other than the Pats. The following are the offensive stats for the Jets, Chargers, and Bills in the six games in which they have NOT played NE, as well as what their NFL ranking would be if they were a single team: Pts/G: 16.5 (25th) TY/G: 294 (25th) PY/G: 203 (20th) RY/G: 91 (22nd) FD/G: 18 (19th) Not exactly elite numbers there - in fact, they're around the bottom of the league in every category. In short, our opponents' offenses have been terrible so far this year, even when we're not playing them. Yes, the Bills suck and will drag any average down, but the averages for the Jets and Chargers alone are not much better: Pts/G: 20.5 (17th) TY/G: 339 (16th) PY/G: 256 (10th) RY/G: 83 (28th) FD/G: 21 (5th) Now take a look at Cincinnati's offense through three games: Pts/G: 31 (4th) TY/G: 393 (5th) PY/G: 301 (2nd) RY/G: 92 (21st) FD/G: 23 (2nd) It seems like our D has looked good so far in some part because the competition has been pretty awful. Granted, the Bengals have played mostly cream puffs so far and the Chargers have had probably the toughest schedule of anyone on this list, but it seems like Monday may show us whether our D can stand up to a real test (without Seymour and Harrison). But we probably all figured that, anyway. On the bright side, the D has made those opponents' offenses look even worse than they otherwise are...they've allowed 4.8 fewer Pts/G, 87/70/17 fewer Total/Pass/Rush Yds/G, and 4 fewer FD/G.