Yet, the Pats get back to work on Tuesday when they turn their focus toward the Steelers who will be waiting for New England to continue its push toward the playoffs.
The Patriots spent their bye weeks getting reconnected with their families and taking advantage of time away from football. The same could be said for Bill Belichick and his staff, although they also used the time to get some work done.
Even though the Pats stand atop the AFC East with a 5-1 record, there is still work to be done. With the bye week now behind them, the Patriots now must continue to make those adjustments on a week-to-week basis.
As it always seems to be, the defensive pass rush is an area of focus for the Patriots and their fans. New England has tried out some new parts to try and generate that rush, but the results still aren't totally there. Only three teams have sacked the opposing quarterback fewer times than the Patriots, but they have shown signs of breaking through.
That pass rush, or lack thereof, also plays a large role in what the secondary is able to do in terms of slowing the opposing passing attack. The Patriots have given up the most passing yards per game this season. Those stats can be misleading, however, as New England is in the middle of the pack in terms of points allowed. Still, in order to win when it matters most, the Pats will need to be better against the pass, and that means the secondary must be better.
Finally, the success of the offense is still based largely on the play of quarterback Tom Brady. And if Brady isn't given the time he needs to do his job when he drops back, the Patriots will be in trouble. It's no secret that Brady — like practically any other quarterback — does not like to get hit and it certainly affects his performance.
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