The New England Patriots lead the league in yards gained on offense, with 2,197 yards. They lead the league in first downs (by a country mile, with 151). And they also lead the league in points scored through five weeks, at 33.0 per game.
So how are they doing it?
It helps that the New England offense has snapped the ball 388 times in five games, tops in the NFL.
Here are the leaders in total offensive plays:
New England 388
Kansas City 366
New Orleans 344
The Patriots are tops in rushing attempts (191 total, or 38.2 per game), which is somewhat of a surprise considering they have a future Hall-of-Fame QB in Tom Brady. Brady has 185 passing attempts, and the offensive balance is working, especially since Brady has thrown just 1 INT.
What the Patriots are doing extremely well is converting possessions into points.
Excluding end-of-half/game kneel-downs, the Patriots have had 57 drives so far in 2012; here are the results of those possessions:
- 18 Touchdowns
- 11 Field Goals
- 19 Punts
- 3 Fumbles lost
- 3 Missed FG
- 1 Interception
- 2 Other (blocked punt & loss of downs)
Stat of the week: The Patriots have not turned the ball over in the red zone this season; the closest they’ve come to doing that was turning the ball over on downs against Denver, at the Broncos 35, with a 10-point lead late in the game.
The Patriots have scored on 29 of 57 possessions (51%), with another 3 possessions ending in a missed attempt to put points directly on the scoreboard.
Game 1 (vs. TEN): 9 drives / 5 scores
Game 2 (vs. ARZ): 13 drives / 5 scores
Game 3 (vs. BAL): 10 drives / 6 scores
Game 4 (vs. BUF): 15 drives / 8 scores
Game 5 (vs. DEN): 10 drives* / 5 scores
*does not include final drive of game, in which NE ran out the clock w/a lead
The Patriots have put together consecutive scoring drives in every game, including seven straight scores against the Bills in the second half of their 52-28 rout.
The Pats scored on their final three possessions against Tennessee, and would have scored on their final three against the Cardinals as well (to earn a win), if not for Stephen Gostkowski’s missed field goal to end the game. New England scored three straight times in the first half against Baltimore, but two of those drives ended in field goals, in a game the Pats wound up losing 31-30. Last week, in the Brady vs. Manning showdown, Brady led the team on consecutive drives of 12, 14 and 16 plays, resulting in a pair of TDs and a FG.
Also, through five games, the Patriots have put together 14 drives of at least 10 or more plays, scoring on 11 of those 14 possessions.
THE DEFENDING Super Bowl champion New York Giants are second in the NFL in scoring, and are the only team in the league with a better scoring percentage through five games. The Giants have scored 29 times on 52 drives (55.8%), although they’ve also turned the ball over 8 times (including a missed FG).
The Giants are also tied for the league lead in FGs (with 13 made), but have scored fewer TDs than New England.
San Francisco, Houston and Chicago are tied for third in the league with 149 points. The 49ers have scored on 26 of 51 drives (51%), the Texans on 25 of 58 (43%) and the Bears on 22 of 51 (43%).