After starting the year 2-4, the Patriots have rattled off six straight wins and are now the No. 2 seed in the AFC with a rookie quarterback and a team that integrated a number of players from offseason signings.
All the credit seems to go to Bill Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff, at least according to people in the league.
“We saw them as the best-coached team that we’ve faced since we got here,” one rival executive told Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. “They do everything correct. They do everything disciplined. They have the perfect guys for it. They know exactly how they want to use them and where they want to use them. And everything is done perfectly. They’re so impressive to watch with the big-picture stuff—what they’re doing with Mac and how that affects the defense, and what they do defensively
“A lot of these guys defensively are declining. … But they get the most of these guys. They got rid of Gilmore, their corners aren’t very good, but they know exactly what coverages they’re gonna play. They know exactly what their matchups are gonna be. It’s a master-level class of coaching.”
Another coach, who has faced the Patriots this season, raved about the job of the coaching staff, especially when it comes to the running game.
“They’re very committed to the run the game, the offensive line’s good and they’re really physical,” the coach said. “You can tell they’re well-coached, they’re on their [expletive] in the run game, and with the amount of 21-personnel [two backs, one tight end] they run at you, it’s tough. It’s different than what you see from other teams. No one, other than maybe Baltimore and San Francisco, runs it more than they do.”
The Patriots have a huge game next Monday night in Buffalo against the Bills.
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