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If you read this post, http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/1576426?new=true you will find that a lot of that information still holds true about the New England Patriots. I wrote this post the day after the Patriots played the Jets for the first time this season. That was week 2. And much of the post still holds true going into week 9. The Patriots still have a solid rush attack that teams need to be aware of. Ladainian Tomlinson, a future hall of fame running back and current analyst on the NFL Network ranked Steven Ridley as the fifth best RB in the league as of last week. (https://twitter.com/nfl/status/395374161469505536) As a team the Patriots rush for 120 ypg. That ranks at about middle of the league. However in '03 and '04 when they won their Super Bowls, they were in the same position. And in those same years, the Kansas City Chiefs were high up on the offensive rankings. And look at where they stand this year. Chiefs are undefeated and the Patriots are just about where they were in those years. Same thing with passing yards. Brady is throwing for just over 200 ypg and has only thrown over 300 yards one time. In '03 and '04, Brady was throwing to David Givens, David Patten, the most popular Dion Branch, as well as his two TEs Daniel Graham and Christian Fauria. These are not names you talk about in the NFL and haven't made a lot of noise since then. The only reason the Patriots' receivers are being talked about this year is because nobody knows who they are and Brady is known for using parking lot attendees for receivers. (No disrespect to Dobson and Thompkins). And with Gronk coming back mid-season (as I predicted), the offense is still under-producing. What also still holds true is that the Patriots still do the unthinkable. 3 weeks ago, against the Saints, the Patriots had a 4th down and 6 yards to go from their own 24 yard line. There was about 3:30 left in the game and they were down 1 point. Instead of punt, Belichick decided to go for it. ON THEIR OWN 24. Like my previous post stated, the Patriots went for it against the Colts in '09 when they were in the same situation. What I admire about Belichick is that he didn't think twice about his decision. He confidently went for it and never doubted himself or the team. They didn't get the first down, however the Patriots ended up getting the ball back 2 more times and won the game on a 1 minute and 9 second drive. But what has won the Patriots their ballgames this year, and I said in week 2, has been their defense. Even without Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork or Aquib Talib these past couple weeks, they have been able to succeed. The team lost to the Jets, however the defense put the offense in a position to win. Last week against the Dolphins, the Patriots shut out the Dolphins in the second half after giving up 17 first half points. This defense held Jimmy Graham to ZERO receptions in the same game that Brady led the Pats on a GW drive. And they are 5th in the league in passing yards/game given up. And let us not forget the special teams. I was very nervous about Stephan Gostkowski going into this year and I will admit, I was wrong. He has proven to be one of the more consistent and reliable kickers in the league this year. And he's especially a vital part of this team because the offense has struggled the most in the red zone. All in all, I would say the Patriots have achieved very well for the situations they've been put in so far this year. There are no excuses in the NFL for wins and losses. You put the best team out there and go with it. The Patriots are 6-2, and I think many people could have predicted that. However, I don't think anybody would have predicted they would have beaten and lost to the teams that they have. Like I said in my previous post, are the Patriots going to win the Super Bowl, absolutely not. But this team is really looking like those teams from the early and mid 2000s....

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