As bad as the New England Patriots have been, none of the blame for their recent performance can be placed on their defense.
With Sunday's 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Patriots D has now held opponents to 10 or fewer points (26 total) in three consecutive games. Unfortunately, the offense has amassed a meager 13 points in that span.
That makes the Patriots the first team since 1938 to lose three straight games in which they didn't allow more than 10 points, per The Athletic's Jeff Howe.
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That embarrassing stat shows why, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, there's been a "disconnect" between the Pats offense and defense.
"Some of that frustration is on the part of a defense that's felt the weight of having to carry the team through the last three months," Breer said on Patriots Pregame Live. "Now, there are people in the building who would say, on the flip side, 'We're not exactly fielding the '85 Bears on the other side of the ball.' "
New England's defense limited Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert to 212 yards and zero touchdowns in their Week 13 matchup. Los Angeles' running backs were held to a combined 34 yards on 20 carries.
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On the flip side, quarterback Bailey Zappe totaled 141 passing yards and failed to get the Patriots on the board in his first start of the season. While he avoided turning the ball over, he was sacked five times in the defeat.
The Pats defense should continue to hold up its end of the bargain this Thursday against a lackluster Pittsburgh Steelers offense that might be without its starting QB Kenny Pickett. The offense, on the other hand, could have a long night against former Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt and Co.
New England enters Week 14 with a 2-10 record and the second overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.