The New England Patriots didn’t just claim victory in Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season. They flat-out embarrassed one of their fiercest conference rivals.

The Patriots kicked off their Super Bowl title defense on a high note, destroying the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium by 30 points. While Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will tell you New England still has a whole lot to work on, the team effectively posted a flawless performance in its season opener. The offense moved the ball at will, while the defense stood tall from wire-to-wire. Hell, even kicker Stephen Gostkowski was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals.

When tasked with summing up New England’s demolition of Pittsburgh in three words, Colin Cowherd offered a sentiment that likely was felt around the league following the first “Sunday Night Football” showdown of the season.

“Steelers at Patriots: that was frightening,” Cowherd said Monday on FS1’s “The Herd.” “I think this is New England’s best defense in a decade. Josh Gordon looked good, Phillip Dorsett looked good, Brady looked good. I mean, they didn’t even play Damien Harris. Lord. I think you’re going to see that played out about seven, eight more times in the next eight or nine weeks. New England is absolutely loaded. What a defense.”

Considering how Week 1 shook out, the Patriots could be in store for a blowout of even greater proportions this Sunday. The Dolphins looked absolutely dreadful in their first game of the campaign, and New England surely will be hungry to avenge the loss it took in South Beach last season courtesy of the “Miami Miracle.”

Kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images