We’re still a year away from the start of the regular season, and it’s clear that the NFL is going to be a tough sell.
But there’s still plenty to like about this year’s slate of games, which includes some big surprises from this weekend’s slate.
First up: The Patriots are looking to become the first team to win the Super Bowl in the history of the NFL.
It’s hard to argue that this year isn’t the best one yet, as we’re already seeing the potential that this Patriots team has.
If they continue to play the way they did against the Steelers and Bengals, then this is one of the best seasons we’ve had.
Here are some of the big storylines that could determine whether the Patriots make the Super for the first time in three decades: 1.
The defense: The defending Super Bowl champions are the only team in NFL history to have two defense-adjusted net yards per game.
That’s the most in the league, and they’ve been even better this year.
New England has allowed a whopping 5.2 yards per play, ranking sixth in the NFL, while ranking sixth against the pass.
The only team to allow less is the Rams, who allowed 5.1 yards per pass.
New York has had more success against the run than any other team in the top 10, and that has helped them get better as a passing game unit.
The Pats have a big pass rush on the back end, and are one of just three teams in the Top 10 with at least six sacks.
If the Pats keep playing the way the defense is playing, then they’re going to put up big numbers.
The Broncos, Steelers, and Bengals are also looking to rebound from losing big games to the Patriots.
The Patriots defense is going nowhere fast, but they still have a chance to win it all.
The offense: The offense has been playing well, but it’s still too early to talk about whether this is the year they finally get the Super.
They’ve had success against some of NFL’s best teams, but the Patriots haven’t been able to do anything with that success.
New Orleans has scored a total of 14 points in the past three games against the Patriots, and has a good chance to rebound against a tough Patriots defense.
The Chiefs, Falcons, and Titans are also playing tough, but with the Patriots leading their division, that could be a problem for Kansas City.
The running game: This game is shaping up to be one of those games that the Patriots can’t afford to lose.
They’re coming off a big win against a New Orleans defense that gave up 637 yards of total offense.
The Saints also allowed only 16 points in their loss to the Titans.
The biggest takeaway for New England is that the offense has struggled to get anything going on the ground in recent weeks, but if the Patriots continue to get the ball to their running backs, they’ll have a good shot at getting points.
If that happens, the Pats could put up some big numbers on the scoreboard.
The pass defense: It’s easy to say that this is a big game for the pass defense, but there’s a reason why the Patriots defense ranks second in the NBA in adjusted net yards allowed per game (fourth overall).
That’s thanks to New England’s success on the defensive side of the ball, and the Patriots have allowed only 7.9 yards per attempt this year, which ranks third in the country.
That could be an issue for any team that’s trying to stop New England on offense, as the Patriots rank just 29th in adjusted pass yards allowed.
The Steelers have been struggling with the run this season, but are one game away from matching that pace, and have a lot of room to improve if they want to finish with a win.
The QB position: It may seem like the Patriots offense is struggling, but this is where the good news starts to really show up.
They have a really talented QB situation.
Tom Brady is one hell of a player, and he’s going to help New England tremendously with his playmaking ability.
The problem is that New England hasn’t been a great pass-catcher, but Brady has been able do that because of his arm talent.
Brady’s accuracy has been good, but he’s not great at making good decisions.
The key for Brady is to make sure that he doesn’t make a big mistake early in the game, and if he does, he can make a couple big ones later in the half.
New Jersey has a chance at winning the AFC East with a victory over the Steelers this Sunday, and we’d love to see them take down the Patriots in the divisional round.