It’s been five days since the New England Patriots’ thrilling AFC Championship Game win over the Kansas City Chiefs, but you’re not sick of clips and mic’d up segments from the game yet, right?
While helping to shut down Tyreek Hill for one 42-yard catch, safety Devin McCourty was caught by “Inside The NFL” talking trash to the speedy Chiefs wide receiver.
“You don’t like this D?” McCourty asked. “You should love this defense. This is probably the best defense ever. You’ve gotta love this one.”
McCourty helped out cornerbacks Jonathan Jones and Keion Crossen in double covering Hill most of the game. Hill’s 42-yarder came against Crossen, a rookie. Jones blanked Hill but was flagged for holding early in the game.
The Patriots also held talented tight end Travis Kelce to just three catches for 23 yards with a touchdown.
The Patriots’ defense is definitely playing its best football of the season. The Patriots let up 31 points to the Chiefs in the conference title game, but that was actually below KC’s season average. The Chiefs led the NFL in scoring with 35.3 points per game. The Patriots shut out the Chiefs in the first half of Sunday’s game and allowed just 290 yards of total offense. That was the lowest total the Chiefs moved the ball all season. It was their seventh lowest point total in 18 games.
The Patriots’ defense had similar success down the stretch against the Los Angeles Chargers in the divisional round, the New York Jets in Week 17 and the Buffalo Bills in Week 16.
Early in the season, no one would have categorized this unit as “best defense ever.” It still probably doesn’t deserve that claim, but it’s certainly playing at a higher level than the 2017 Patriots defense that allowed 41 points to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. And it was the best defense for limiting Hill, who caught seven passes for 142 yards with three touchdowns against the Patriots earlier in the season in Week 6.
If the Patriots’ defense can play as well in Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams as it did in its previous two playoff matchups, they should be able to help bring another Lombardi Trophy back to Foxboro.