The Patriots will travel to Pittsburgh this Sunday to take on the Steelers, a game in which the Patriots are coming off their bye week.
The Patriots have faired very well against the Steelers, even in Pittsburgh. Although over the past two weeks NFL teams are 2-9 coming off of their bye, the Patriots shouldn’t fall under this category as under Bill Belichick the team is 9-2 following their bye and have not lost since 2002.
Belichick and his staff love the bye week because it gives them an extra week to prepare of their next opponent, but also they get a chance to scout themselves, and improve on their own game. Belichick has said he self scouts his team every week, but gets a chance for a more in depth look during the bye weeks.
Interestingly enough the team faced the Buffalo Bills four straight seasons following their bye from 2004-2007. The Patriots won all four of those meetings, three of the four coming on the road. Also, it was interesting that the Patriots had their bye week in the second to last game in the 2001 season, a 38-6 win over Carolina.
The Patriots have put up some points in their games following their bye. On average they have scored 27.8 points per game and have only scored less than 21 points twice. Last season following their bye the Patriots had one of their bigger wins of the season, a 23-20 comeback win over the Ravens.
On a side note, in researching for this post I found it very interesting that Belichick lost his first four games as head coach of the team and was 2-8 in his first ten games. The 2000 season has been his only losing season with the team. Pretty remarkable turn around, wouldn’t you say?