Pro Football Focus ranks Patriots defense 'far and away' the best in the NFL

Michael DePrisco
NBC Sports Boston

It's safe to say that probably the only reason the Patriots are 6-0 heading into a Monday Night Football showdown with the Jets is their defense. 

With its continuity, smart players that give the coaching staff an ability to adjust on the fly and supreme talent in the secondary, the New England defense has stifled every opponent it has gone up against. 

Of course, the fact that the Patriots have gone up against a group of quarterbacks consisting of Luke Falk, Colt McCoy, Daniel Jones and Ryan Fitzpatrick, but you can only play the teams on your schedule. And the Pats have slowed down their opponent's offenses at a historic rate. So much so, that Pro Football Focus ranked them the NFL's top defense by a wide margin. 

The Patriots have been far and away the best defense in the NFL this season, registering an EPA allowed per play of nearly -0.5. Their defensive success can largely be attributed to their secondary, which has been playing outstanding football, granted against some of the most advantageous quarterback matchups a team could possibly have. They are the only team to allow fewer than six yards per targeted attempt (5.8), the only team to allow a passer rating below 65.0 on targeted passes (46.1), and their 14 interceptions are five more than any other team. It will be interesting to see them compete with a competent passing attack, but they have all the makings of a dominant secondary and defense overall.

With their next four games coming against Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Carson Wentz, the Patriots defense will finally be appropriately put to the test. 

With Tom Brady's offense continued struggles to move the ball, New England's defense might have to play better than they have already, which might just be too much to ask. 

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Pro Football Focus ranks Patriots defense 'far and away' the best in the NFL originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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