Can the Patriots be stopped? (Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports)

Just how good are the Patriots?

Published On December 11, 2012 | By Jill Saftel

For anyone who doubted the Patriots’ dominance, their 42-14 romping of the then-11-1 Houston Texans certainly sealed the deal. New England came out on top in the game many considered to be a preview of the AFC East Championship and the Patriots’ biggest test this season.

Tom Brady and the Patriots are now just one game behind Houston and have the advantage in the head-to-head tiebreaker – a good place to be for a team that succeeds when it controls its own fate.

ESPN’s AFC East Blog featured a “Patriots ‘ dominance by the numbers” post today revealing just how good the Pats were Monday night on paper. Here are ESPN’s Pats stats:

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had his 14th game of four passing touchdowns and zero interceptions. That’s an NFL record.
  • Brady threw three of his four touchdowns when Houston blitzed five or more defenders.
  • Brady passed Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas with 18 games with four touchdown passes. Brady tied Drew Brees for fourth all-time.
  • The Patriots scored 40 points or more for the 26th time since 2001, which is an NFL-high in that span.
  • The Patriots have won 13 straight December games, which is tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history. They also have won 20 straight home games in December.
  • The Patriots have at least 10 wins for the 10th straight season. That’s second in NFL history.
  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, New England’s 28-point win was the largest margin against a team holding the best record in the NFL.

Bill Belichick and Brady have been together for over a decade, joining the team in 2000 with Brady taking over as starting quarterback in 2001. In the time since Brady became No. 1 QB, they’ve won three Super Bowls, five conference championships, 10 AFC East championships and 10 playoff appearances.

So just how good are the Patriots? Looking at ESPN’s stats, it’s hard to argue they’re not a playoff favorite. Add in some needed revenge from last year’s 21-17 Super Bowl loss to the Giants and you’ve got a recipe for a very promising postseason.


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About The Author

Jill studies journalism at Northeastern University, covers Hockey East for College Hockey News and is the sports editor for The Huntington News. You can follow her on Twitter at @jillsaftel, just don't ask her to choose between hockey and baseball, it's impossible.