Grading to this point
It took my radio producer @jimlouth to point out to me early last week that the Patriots -- 7-2 after their first nine games -- are in position to get a first-round bye in the playoffs. Which astounded me because, as fans and observers are aware, they haven’t played like a team worthy of a playoff bye. Note these grades are for how they’ve played to this point and don’t necessarily indicate future performance. The Pats should get better when they get healthier, but I also think that, while the defense carried the day in the first half, it’s going to be more about the offense in the second half of 2013.