The New England Patriots offense has hummed since Tom Brady’s return under center. After Brady completed his four-game suspension, he’s returned to complete 57 of 75 passes for 782 yards and 6 touchdowns as the Patriots have averaged 34 points per game, a mark that would rank No. 1 in the NFL on the season.
Brady has thrived with the Patriots regaining their vaunted two-tight end formation from 2011, featuring pro bowl talents Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett.
The team’s running game has been off to a solid start as well. LeGarrette Blount’s 439 rushing yards rank 7th in the NFL as his 6 rushing touchdowns are second in the entire league.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, New England’s opponent this weekend, don’t appear to be impressed. Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler produced quite the quote in an interview posted on Pittsburgh’s website.
“I don’t think they’re doing anything special,” Butler said. “I think they do things outside the box sometimes, you know, that might be on the edge of being legal or not legal.
“They’ve done a couple of things in the past — putting an offensive tackle out as ineligible but he’s not really. Sometimes the emphasis by the NFL in terms of what they call and what they don’t call, [the Patriots] use that a little bit. They’ve been accused of doing a lot of things. But the thing we’ve got to do is ignore that and play.”
Patriots fans will surely respond to another accusation that New England cheats.