The Patriots head into their bye at 5-3. It's been a weird first half, for sure, and not just in New England. Two weeks ago, the AFC East had four teams at 3-3 but now, with November upon us, the race for the postseason has started to take shape. And as it stands, the Pats in the familiar pole position. Not just for the division crown but for a first-round playoff bye.
First things first, though; New England will take a few days to regroup and then start preparing for Week 10 opponent Buffalo.
"We take a look at our statistical information, what we've done, how productive it has or hasn't been in all aspects," Belichick noted of some self-scouting his staff plans to do this week. "See what tendencies we have created and whether we're happy with those tendencies or whether we want to change them. And then we go back and look at each of the individual plays and groups of plays and see if there's something that jumps out. …
"The self-scouting process, the film evaluation, taking a look at how other teams have played us, if there's a common thread there," he continued. "That we're kind of seeing the same coverages or the same front or same plays, formations are repeating, whatever it happens to be on a consistent basis. And then there's probably a reason for that. Teams are trying to create some type of advantage or positioning that we're having trouble with for some reason. All those things."
One area that probably won't need much tweaking, despite the annual early season concerns: Tom Brady. He had struggled with consistency in recent weeks but let's be honest, it's all relative. The Bills and Jets would love that type of inconsistency with their quarterbacks. Whatever, Brady is, well, Brady. He completed 66 percent of his throws in Sunday's 45-7 win over the Rams, including 4 TDs and 0 INTs. He also was the NFL's top performing quarterback in Week 8, according to FootballOutsiders, who had this to say about Brady's effort:
"The Patriots were so dominant that Brady threw 14 passes in the red zone alone. Before the Monday Night game, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith only had 14 red zone passes all season. Brady's numbers inside the Rams' 20: 7-of-13 for 71 yards, plus a 7-yard defensive pass interference, for four touchdowns and two other first downs."
So all those concerns about Brady not being very Brady-like? Yeah, you can forget that. Nothing to see here.