The “Boogeymen,” as they are dubbed, is an extremely fitting name for the 2019 Patriots. This defense is undoubtedly one of the better, if not the best, defense that New England has seen in recent years.
It is no wonder why this is the claim that many people, including myself, are making. The NFL ranks this defense as the number one defense in the league at the moment. With 19 interceptions, this team is a whole nine interceptions away from the next closest teams: the Carolina Panthers, the Pittsburgh Stealers and the San Francisco 49ers. These teams each have a total of 10 interceptions.
The New England Patriots also have a total of eight forced fumbles, six of which they recovered. This brings the total of turnovers to at least 25 when you ignore the number of turnovers that resulted from a loss of downs and special teams turnovers.
This defense also ranks first in the total yards per game they allow, allowing only a total of 234 yards, which is seven yards less than the next ranked team the San Francisco 49ers.
During the offseason and preseason, the majority of players who were rumored to leave such as the McCourty twins decided to stay despite rumors that if they won their first Super Bowl together the pair would retire, as they had achieved their dream.
Instead, the Patriots lost Trey Flowers (one of their leading pass rushers), Eric Rowe (a cornerback), Malcolm Brown (a defensive tackles) and Adrian Clayborn (a defensive end). Despite all of these departures, the Patriots were able to keep some of their most beloved defensive players such as Dont’a Hightower, Stephon Gilmore and Patrick Chung.
Every part of the defense has clicked as they have in past seasons, including new additions such as Terrence Brooks who had his first interception of the season given to him by former teammate Sam Darnold.
One of the many comments that have been flying around this season is the comparison of this defense to the 2007 Patriots offense that shook up the world when they went 18-1 with the only loss of the season coming on the big stage, a game that many fans would like to forget. This 2007 offense was made up of many stars such as Randy Moss, Ben Watson and Wes Welker, who were all key components to what the Patriots were able to accomplish in that season.
This is not at all unlike the current Patriots defense who is made up of the number one cornerback in the league (Stephon Gilmore) as well as veterans Patrick Chung, Dont’a Hightower and Lawerence Guy.
Like their 2007 counterpart, the Patriots have stars on both sides of the ball, but one of the sides is often overshadowing the other. In 2007 it was the dynamite offense that overshadowed a pretty great defense—who can forget Tedy Bruschi? Such is the same narrative that currently grips the Patriots. The Boogeymen are overshadowing a now stacked offense and helping the team steamroll any and all opponents who even attempt to win a game against them.
Alan Fortin can be contacted