Column: Patriots emerging as beasts of the NFL

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Tom Brady (12) in the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (John Minchillo/AP)

For the first time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, there are five remaining teams in the NFL that are undefeated through Week 6 in the season. 

The New England Patriots (5-0), Carolina Panthers (5-0), Green Bay Packers (6-0), Denver Broncos (6-0) and Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) all enter Week 7 as the only teams without a loss.

Only two of them will play this weekend, as the Packers, Bengals and Broncos are on a bye week.

Let’s run through them.

The Broncos (probably) shouldn’t be undefeated. We’ve seen an odd version of Peyton Manning this year with him having thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (seven). But their defense has catapulted them to win all their games so far this season. They are giving up 17 points per game, good for fourth in the league.

We knew the Packers would be good. Despite losing Jordy Nelson before the season, Aaron Rodgers has still made that offense run like a well-oiled machine as it always has. The Packers are scoring 27.3 points per game and gaining 364.2 yards per game. 

The Bengals have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL and are always good in the regular season. Cincinnati is averaging 410.3 yards per game while putting up 30.3 points.

The Panthers have been a surprise to everyone. Cam Newton has done a fantastic job at leading Carolina with the limited weapons he has to throw the ball to. Supercam has flown into the MVP conversation through the first six weeks.

But the clear-cut favorite as the best team in the NFL is neither of the aforementioned teams. It’s the New England Patriots.

How good have the Patriots been this year? Let’s take a look.

First of all, they lead the league in points per game (36.6) and are 10th in the league in points allowed (20.6).  For those that can’t do the math or just don’t want to: the Patriots are winning their games by 16 points per game or more than two touchdowns.

Secondly, they have scored 183 points this season, breaking team record for most points scored through the first f ive games of a season (182 in 2007), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

For the first time since that same 2007 season, the Pats are 5-0. Remember that season? Oh yea, that’s when they went 16-0.

Yes, the comparisons are already flying between this year’s team and that 2007 team. They’ve been that good.

Tom Brady, for all that he has been through, is arguably having his best season ever. He looks as good, if not better than ever.

At 38 years old, Brady has thrown 14 touchdowns and just one interception (which wasn’t even his fault) this year. Out-of-this-world numbers.

Brady and the Patriots are on a mission this season. And you can see it. They’re out to demolish every team they come across thanks to the hectic offseason the NFL put them through with ‘Deflategate’ and all.

Looking at their schedule, there are only three games where they should be worried: at the New York Giants in Week 10, at the Denver Broncos in Week 12 and at the New York Jets in Week 16.

All the other games on their schedule should be wins.

The Patriots showed that they are vulnerable against the Colts last Sunday night. In the first half against the Cowboys the previous week, Greg Hardy terrorized their offensive line; so there are holes.

But it’s the Patriots. Like them or not, they always figure it out.


Matt Zampini is sports editor for The Daily Campus, and also covers UConn Football. He can be reached via email at matthew.zampini@uconn.edu. He tweets @Matt_Zamp.