By: Steve Balestrieri
The New England Patriots are in the midst of well-deserved rest after running their winning streak to five games and dismantling the New York Jets 49-19 on Thanksgiving night. The team is off until next Sunday, Dec. 2 when they travel to Miami and take on the Dolphins.
With 407 points scored in 11 games, the Patriots are poised to break their own record for points scored in a season with 589 in 2007. They are (if they continue their current rate of scoring) going to score 592 points which would narrowly set the new standard.
2007 Team Peaked Early: While the 2007 team had Randy Moss who along with Tom Brady and the team set scoring records, (Tm pts 589, Brady passing TDs 50 and Moss rec. TDs 23) the 2012 team is far more balanced and has a better running game which ultimately may lead to more success.
The 2007 team after Thanksgiving scored much less frequently breaking 35 points only once, in the season finale against the Giants. Brady remains as one of the constants and is having a ridiculously impressive season with 24 TD passes against only 3 INTs for an 8:1 TD to INT ratio.
But will the Pats score 589+ points? While it has little bearing on ultimate success this season it does provide interesting conversation during their layoff. And I’d answer that question as doubtful.
While it’s certainly in the realm of possibility for them to score up to 600 points and set the new benchmark, two difficult games against two of the better defenses in the NFL remain with Houston and San Francisco. And they’ll be facing both of those teams without arguably their best offensive weapon in Rob Gronkowski.
Let’s just say that the team was to score 30 points against each team on their trips to Foxboro. While attainable, putting up 30 on those defenses is no easy feat and hardly a given. So, that would mean that they’d have to put up over 40 points per game against the Dolphins (twice) and the Jaguars.
With the weather unpredictable at this time of year and likely to get colder soon, it is (to me at least) doubtful that the Patriots will break their record of 589 much less the 600 point barrier.
Can it be done? Yes absolutely, but will it be done? Don’t think so. I’d venture to say that the team couldn’t care about that record anyway. They’d just rather book a flight to play in New Orleans in 70 days or so.