Despite being the current Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots have not had the best of starts to their title defense in the 2017 season.
The Patriots currently have a 2-2 record on the season after wins against the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans, but losses against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers.
While their offense under the leadership of Tom Brady has still been able to produce, the reason why they have already lost half of their games is that their defense has been terrible.
Through the first four games of the season, they have allowed 32 points per game (No. 31 in the NFL), 324 passing yards per game (No. 32) and 132.8 rushing yards per game (No. 26), and a league-worst of 1,827 total yards defensively, which is 242 more yards than the next-closest team, the Indianapolis Colts.
This isn't a trend which the Patriots will want to continue if they have any ambitions of retaining their Super Bowl title this season, but if they do, they could break a very unwanted NFL record that has stood for the past five years.
According to NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano, New England are on pace to shatter a modern NFL record for most yards allowed by a defense, which is currently held by the 2012 Saints with 7,046 total yards allowed. The 2017 Patriots are currently projected to allow 7,308 total yards, which would be a new NFL record.
This is something which the Patriots will be seeking to make sure it doesn't happen very quickly, and as we have seen by a Bill Belichick lead New England team in the past, they're able to overcome whatever adversity is thrown at them.
While they do have defensive issues, so long as the offense under Brady keeps on scoring points, there's still a chance they can retain their Super Bowl title. They're the current Super Bowl favourites despite their 2-2 start to the 2017 season, but it will only remain that way if they're able to turn their season around.