I’m just gonna go ahead and say it; the 2016 Patriots defense is good enough to win the Super Bowl. I know thats not a popular opinion on Contrarian FM Sports Talk Radio. Its even sacrilegious to suggest this if you hear the nonsense from Shank and his super fresh “Tomato Cans” take. I swear to christ if I hear the term Tomato Cans from Shank one more time I am just gonna snap.
But you wanna get nuts? Lets get nuts and look at the numbers. The Patriots defense has allowed 33 points less than any other team this season. They’re 8th in Total Yards Allowed and Yards per Game, 3rd in Rushing Yards Allowed and Rushing Yards per Game, and 1st in Points Allowed with 15.7 pts allowed per game. 15.7!
Now they’re 14th in Passing Yards Allowed and Passing Yards per Game, but they are routinely up on other teams and forcing them to throw (which can also help boost the rushing yards total), but even with that being true they’re still giving up less than 16 a game.
They’re also 3rd in Takeaway Differential, which is a great indicator of team success. The top 5 in Takeaway Differential goes, in order, Oakland (No. 2 seed in the AFC), Kansas City (Wildcard w/ potential to jump to the No. 2 seed), Atlanta (No. 2 seed in the NFC), the Pats and then the walking anomaly that is the Bills (RIP Rex).
So you can point to 3rd down conversion percentage, opposing QB Rating, or Yards per play. But at the end of the day the defense is playing well enough. Are they the 2002 Ravens? Fuck no. But they don’t need to be. With a healthy McCourty, Butler, Hightower and the defensive line playing well this defense is good enough. And thats all the Patriots need to win a title. Was it a lot easier with a shutdown corner like Darrelle Revis in the secondary? Sure, but that guy’s making 20 million a year to be a goddamn welfare recipient in NYC right now. So I’m not saying the Pats can win a lot of games 10-3, but with TB12 under center a defense like this should get the job done.
See ya in Houston!