Pats look to break through against top D


Pats look to break through against top D

We're 13 weeks into the NFL season and the Patriots have the most dominant offense in football. So dominant, in fact, that opposing defensive coordinators might as well just show up to the stadium wearing nipple clamps and a ball gag.

Heading into Monday night's game against the Texans, the Pats are the only team in the NFL that averages more than 30 points a game (and they do so easily, at 35.8). They're the only team with more than 5000 total yards or more than 300 first downs. They're the only team that converts more than 50 percent of its third downs.

For good measure, they're also the only team in the NFL with a single-digit turnover total, one of only two teams that rank in the Top 10 in both passing and rushing yards, and one of only five that's allowed fewer than 20 sacks.

Like I said: DOMINANT. And in every aspect of the game.

But for one second, let's forget about the NFL's top offense and focus on defense.

More specifically, the league's Top 10 defenses:

1. San Francisco, 14.3 point per game
2. Chicago, 16.5
3. Seattle, 16.8
4. Houston, 18.4
5. Atlanta, 19.1
6. Pittsburgh, 19.2
7. Arizona, 19.5
8. Baltimore, 20.2
9. NY Giants, 20.3
10. Denver, 20.3

Notice anything interesting about this list? How about as it relates to the Patriots? Is there anything that sticks out?

Here's what I noticed:

Week 2: The Pats lose 19-17 to the No. 7 ranked Cardinals D.
Week 3: The Pats lose 31-30 to the No. 8 ranked Ravens D.
Week 6: The Pats lose 24-23 to the No. 3 ranked Seahawks D.

On one hand, this serves as another reminder of the ridiculous fact that the Patriots' three losses have come by a combined four points. (Week 2: A missed Gostkowski chip shot; Week 3: A Justin Tucker field goal that probably shouldn't have counted; Week 6: The longest touchdown pass of Russell Wilson's career.)

But it also shows that in four games against Top 10 NFL defenses, the Patriots are a 1-3.

Is that just a coincidence?

With the No. 4 ranked Texans coming in on Monday, we can only hope so.

(And either way, let's pray that Wade Phillips leaves the nipple clamps at home.)

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine