The Patriots did two things really well on Sunday that they didn't do in more than spurts last season: run the ball and defend well.
Mike Felger likes the way the Pats ran the ball, saying that it not only helps the offensive line who is still working on protecting Brady, but it also takes pressure off of Brady.
Andy Gresh notes that it makes the Pats much more complimentary in terms of the pass and the run together.
But is a run game the missing ingredient to a Super Bowl win? Or is it defense? Most likely, it's both.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots are expected to do big things in 2017, but Bill Belichick is keeping his focus on the present. That means more training camp scheduling and installation, less 16-0 talk. A lot less. OK, none.
"Yeah, right now, we’re just trying to have a good day here today, get off to a good start in training camp," Belichick replied when asked about being "hyped to go undefeated."
"We’re not really worried about all that’s in the future. That will come when it comes."
There's been no shortage of discussion on whether or not the Patriots can run the table in 2017. They seemed to improve upon a roster that was already one of the best in the league. They are the heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl for the third time in four years.
We've been guilty of it on our air and in this space. We spent two weeks comparing this roster to the one in 2007 that went 16-0.
This may come as a surprise, but Belichick said on Wednesday that he hasn't been consuming those writeups or TV segments.
"Yeah, we’re focused on one day at a time," he said. "Like I said, I guess I missed some of the big reading you guys have had. Honestly, I don’t really pay any attention to it. Sorry."
No offense taken.
FOXBORO -- There seemed to be an announcement made at Bill Belichick's press conference Wednesday morning, his first meeting with reporters during training camp.
Belichick mentioned during his opening remarks that the team will be working with the Jaguars, Texans and Lions during camp. Joint practices with the Jags and Texans had already been announced. Joint work with the Lions seemed to be news.
Belichick was asked to clarify later that the team would be having three sets of joint practices, and said, "That's right."
The work the Patriots do with the Lions won't be exactly the same as what they do with the Jaguars and Texans, though. The Patriots clarified later that the plan as of now was for the team to have a joint walkthrough with the Lions in Detroit on the day before their Aug. 25 preseason game.
The Patriots and Jaguars will conduct joint practices at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 7 and 8 before their Aug. 10 game in Foxboro. The Patriots and Texans will practice with one another at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on Aug. 15 and 16 before their Aug. 19 game in Houston.