Just when you think that Tom Brady would be on the decline and the New England Patriots two-decade dynasty could come crashing down with it, Bill Belichick goes out and deploys the best defense he's ever had across his 34-year coaching career.
That reality has the Pats being labeled as the Super Bowl favorites, and rightfully so, because this defense is simply something that we've never seen before, especially in terms of Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA).
DVOA, according to Football Outsiders, calculates a team's efficiency by analyzing success on each play and comparing it to the NFL average based on opponent and situation. The 2019 Patriots have the best percentage among teams since 1986 that have played at least seven games, and it's not even close.
To put that earth-shattering figure into perspective, New England has allowed a league-low 6.9 points per game through Week 7. In doing so, they became just one of three teams in NFL history to concede less than a touchdown per game through seven contests, joining the 1977 Falcons and 1946 Browns.
Their opponents have mustered just 48 points against them this year, and that number is slightly skewed because of the three defensive and special teams touchdowns they've surrendered. Folks, the Patriots defense has yielded just THREE touchdowns in 420 minutes (28 quarters) of football.
How all-time great is this defensive side?
We'll know sooner than later because the Patriots have upcoming tilts against the likes of the Browns, Ravens (away), Eagles (away), Cowboys, Texans (away) and Chiefs.