By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots defense is off to a historic start, in the context of both the franchise and the National Football League. And it doesn't even need to have that great of a game against the New York Jets on Sunday to make more history.
Through two games the Patriots have allowed only three points, the fewest in team history through the first pair of games in a single season. The franchise record for fewest points allowed through three games is 33, set by the 1979 team. In the Bill Belichick era, the record is 34 points allowed by the 2013 squad.
So far in 2019, the Pats are first in total yards allowed (429), opposing passer rating (43.8), and tied for first in takeaways (5). They're the only team in the NFL not to allow a touchdown in the first two weeks.
With the Jets turning to third-string quarterback Luke Falk, their odds are long that they'll stop the Patriots defense from continuing to set franchise records. Here's what the Patriots could allow to the Jets on Sunday and still set a new franchise mark for the first three games of any season:
-- Points allowed: 29
-- Total yards allowed: 128
-- Rushing yards allowed: 104
-- Touchdowns allowed: 3
The total yards record would be absurd. But with Falk making his first career start against Belichick and the Patriots' deep defensive corps at Gillette Stadium, perhaps it's on the table.
New England can also be the first team since the AFL-NFL merger to go the first three games without allowing a touchdown. According to Elias (h/t Mike Reiss), the last NFL team to do so was the 1937 Chicago Bears. (Note: The rest of this research comes via Pro Football Reference, which only goes back to 1940).
This isn't to say that the Patriots are going against stiff competition in the early going. But three points is three points and the competition isn't getting much harder. Regardless of who they're facing, the defense has a good chance to continue to do special things on the scoreboard.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].