The New England Patriots are marching through their regular season schedule, boasting a 5-1 record atop the AFC East and standing as the lone remaining one-loss team in the AFC. New England has dominated their last two opponents, stomping on the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals 33-13 and 37-15, respectively, in Weeks 6 and 7. The Patriots rank 4th in the NFL in scoring margin, outlasting their opponents by 9.8 points per game.
New England’s success has been in part due to its fantastic special teams, as well. The Patriots are 5th in the league in allowing just 2.3 opponent touchbacks per game. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski has done an excellent job forcing opponents to return the ball on kickoffs, allowing the Patriots ample opportunity to bring down return men before they can reach the 25-yard line.
Patriots have best kickoff unit in NFL when it comes to opponents starting field position as average drive has started at the 22-yard line.
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) October 18, 2016
The Patriots defense has been fierce, allowing the second-fewest points per game this season at just 15.2. Perhaps a large part of New England’s defensive success comes from its opponents’ poor starting field position.