This imperfect perfection that the Patriots have going right now is right up Bill Belichick’s alley.
The Pats are 6-0, which is great and all, but in each of their last four games (Jets, Bills, Redskins, Giants) there have been major miscues.
Part of the problem with the 2007 Patriots and their undefeated season quest that came up short was that the team was too dominant early in the year. In essence, they peaked too early.
Belichick could pick nits in the film room until he was blue in the face with that team, but at some point – consciously or subconsciously – players thought he was full of bull excrement.
When you’re rolling teams at a historic clip, and the media and fans are consistently telling you how great you are, it’s difficult to “ignore the noise,” as Belichick likes to say.
The undefeated start this season is vastly different, as no one is buying the current Patriots roster as unstoppable.
First and foremost, there are major problems with the offense, starting with the sieve that is the offensive line. Tom Brady is starting to look his age, too, as he threw an interception in the end zone in the Bills game, threw an interception in the red zone against the Redskins, and threw an INT against the Giants this past Thursday – immediately after the Pats defense got a pick of their own.
Brady eventually corrected things in both the Redskins and Giants games to come away with respectable stat lines, but anyone who watched both games could see that – overall – TB12 was mighty shaky.
As for the defense, the Patriots have been statistically dominant as they are first in the NFL in total yard allowed, first in passing yards allowed, first in points per game allowed, and third in rushing yards allowed.
But, there have been warning signs over the past two weeks that this defense might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
The Pats D allowed a 65-yard TD run by Washington wide receiver Steven Sims eight days ago, and allowed a 64-yard TD reception to Giants receiver Golden Tate.
The Patriots will be facing offenses that are worlds better than the Redskins and Giants in the coming weeks as the Browns, Ravens, Eagles and Cowboys all have elite playmakers.
All told, this imperfection on both sides of the ball is music to Belichick’s ears. He can legitimately tell his team that they’re not that good, and the proof will be on the tape.