Rick Zamperin: New England Patriots are perfect so far, but are they really that good?

Five weeks into the 2019 National Football League season and the New England Patriots have started the year as many had predicted, perfectly.

The defending champion Pats have won all five of their games, have scored the second-most points in the league (155, trailing only Baltimore’s 161), and have allowed the fewest points — by far — this year.

Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady may get his name in the headlines but it is New England’s defense that is leading the charge.

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Through five games the Patriots D has allowed just 34 points, an average of 6.8 points per game and the unit is on pace to allow 109 points this year.

That would obliterate the 16-game record of 165 points allowed by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens — another team that rode its stifling defense all the way to a Super Bowl title.

Is New England really this good? Upon closer review, while the stats are staggering, the Patriots’ opponents haven’t been very good at all either.

The Pats have beaten Pittsburgh (1-4), Miami (0-4), the New York Jets (0-4), Buffalo (4-1) and Washington (0-5) who are a combined 5-18 this season.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “the Patriots beat the 4-1 Bills, that has to count for something.” The record of the four other teams that Buffalo has beaten this year is 4-15.

There is no denying that New England remains one of the best teams in the NFL but it would be easier to gauge just how good the Pats are if they played better opponents.

We won’t find out this weekend either because the Patriots host the 2-3 New York Giants. Then they play the winless Jets and the underachieving Browns before finally taking on two tougher opponents in Baltimore and Philadelphia – with a bye week sandwiched in between (of course there is).

By then, the Pats will likely already be 8-0 and virtually assured of clinching another AFC East title en route to another run at the Super Bowl.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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