New England Patriots: Dominating Defensive Line Is Going to Get Better

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Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots came out on Thursday night and defeated the Miami Dolphins by a 36-7 score. It was their seventh consecutive regular season win and tenth win in a row if you count last year’s playoffs. The Patriots ran their current dominance of the AFC East to an amazing 19 wins in their last 20 games at Gillette Stadium against a division rival.

The only loss at home by New England to a division rival since Matt Cassel was the starting quarterback in 2008? It was that meaningless 2014 season finale where quarterback Tom Brady played just the first half and most of the other starters on offense and defense did not even play as the Patriots had wrapped up the top seed in the AFC.

The last meaningful loss of any kind at Gillette Stadium in New England was on January 20, 2013 when the Patriots lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game without injured Rob Gronkowski and Chandler Jones and with Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez playing key roles on offense and Marquice Cole, Jermaine Cunningham, Justin Francis, Brandon Deaderick, and Steve Gregory playing key roles on defense.

New England is now 7-0 for the first time since 2007 and topped 30 points for the sixth time in seven games. Other than the first quarter of the first game of the season, the Patriots have not been shut out in a quarter during this season which is almost half over.

Must-read: 10 reasons why the Pats are undefeated right now

Despite the Dolphins winning two straight games over the previous two weeks under interim head coach Dan Campbell, the Patriots still rolled over Miami. The Dolphins had scored 82 points combined in their wins over AFC South pushovers Tennessee and Houston (a combined 3-10), but it was an entirely different story for Miami when facing New England.

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The New England defense shut out the Dolphins in the first half of the game and after allowing a touchdown drive to start the third quarter shut them right back down. The New England offense was balanced as they ran and threw the ball without resistance from a Miami defense which had dominated their opponents in the previous two weeks.

Let’s take one more look back at the game tape and inside the statistics and come up with five things we learned from the New England Patriots shellacking of Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night. Part four of the five-part series is a look at the New England defensive line and how they can build upon their impressive start and improve in the second half of the season:

Next: The Defensive Line is Going to Get Even Better