Unless you’re talking about takeaways and turnover margin, it’s been rare in recent seasons to see the Patriots near the NFL lead in defensive categories.
Not so through three games this season. In starting 3-0 for the first time since 2007, the Patriots have shown some teeth without the ball. They’re eighth in total defense (sixth against the pass), outpacing the offense, which is 17th in the early going. More important, only one team has allowed fewer than the 34 points given up by New England in wins over the Bills, Jets, and Buccaneers. The league leader in points allowed? Seattle, with 27.