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The Speed Option: New England Patriots

The Evil Empire marches into Buffalo

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

For the first time since 2008, the New England Patriots will play the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park without Tom Brady as their starting quarterback. Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots will look much different than the last time Bills fans watched them at Bills (New Era) Stadium. Here’s a quick review of the reigning AFC East Champions.


2020 Season

The Patriots have started the season 2-4, their worst start since the 2000 season. That season was Bill Belichick’s first season in New England, but this time it’s Cam Newtown as the new face in town. The Pats are currently on a three-game losing streak—their first three -game losing streak since 2002. Their two wins this season have come over the Miami Dolphins and the Las Vegas Raiders.

Head Coach

Bill Belichick returned for his 21st season at the helm. His career regular season record as head coach of the Pats is 239-87 (239-87). As we all know, he has won six Super Bowls with the Pats.

Offensive Coordinator

Josh McDaniels is in his 12th season as the offensive coordinator in New England. These 12 seasons are split across two stints. They’re split by a three-year stretch where he spent two years as head coach of the Denver Broncos and one year as the St. Louis Rams’ offensive coordinator. The Patriots’ offense currently ranks 24th in yards per game and 29th in points per game.

Defensive Coordinator

The Patriots have decided not to name a defensive coordinator for the second straight season. The last named defensive coordinator in New England was current Detroit Lions head coach Mat Patricia. Stephen Belichick and Jerod Mayo are the team’s highest-ranking defensive assistants. The Patriots currently rank 17th in yards allowed per game and 12th in points allowed per game.

Offensive Starters

  • QB: Cam Newton ^
  • RB: Damien Harris
  • RB: James White
  • WR: N’Keal Harry
  • WR: Julian Edelman
  • TE: Ryan Izzo
  • LT: Isaiah Wynn
  • LG: Joe Thuney
  • C: David Andrews
  • RG: Shaq Mason
  • RT: Mike Onwenu *

^ = free agent
* = rookie

Defensive Starters

  • LE: Chase Winovich
  • DT: Lawrence Guy
  • DT: Byron Cowart
  • RE: John Simon
  • LB: Shilique Calhoun
  • LB: Ja’Whaun Bentley
  • LB: Brandon Copeland ^
  • RCB: Stephon Gilmore
  • LCB: Jason McCourty
  • S: Adrian Phillips ^
  • S: Devin McCourty

^ = free agent / trade addition
* = rookie