10 reasons why the Patriots are undefeated

9 of 11

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3. Better-than-expected pass defense

(extension of front seven success) Pass defense sticking together; 249 yards allowed/gm ranks 15th. Butler holding it down as a No. 1 corner, 7 PD tied with stars like Browner, Sherman, Talib. Rutgers prods DMac, Ryan Harmon have 9 PD, 7 INTs between them.

The Mass Cornerback Exodus of 2015 turned out to not be that bad. The Patriots aren’t drowning in Darrelle Revis’ paycheck, and not having him around has been bearable to say the least. Malcolm Butler is living up to his Super Bowl heroism, holding his own against true No. 1 wideouts. Butler has the same number of passes defended (7) as elite cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib, as well as another one of the cornerback departures, Brandon Browner.

Logan Ryan in single coverage can sometimes be a scene from a horror movie, but the third-year pro deserves credit for locating and intercepting three passes thus far. Fellow Rutgers product Duron Harmon also has three picks; Harmon has showcased ability as an opportunistic center fielder in the back end for the Pats.

The best Rutgers guy on the roster, Devin McCourty is also having himself a season with an interception and a sack through seven games.

As nice as it would be to have a more secure situation at cornerback after Butler, the secondary deserves accolades for allowing only 249 passing yards per game, which ranks middle-of-the-pack. Considering teams are just about always playing from behind against the Pats (and thus passing the ball a bunch), that’s not too shabby.

Next: 2. Stout run defense