Despite the offseason speculation about the possibility of the elusive undefeated season, your 2017 New England Patriots currently sit at 2-2 after Graham Gano sent a 48-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired to give the Carolina Panthers the win last Sunday.
After the offseason addition of Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots defense was heralded by many as even better than the 2016 unit that led the NFL in points per game allowed. Despite this, the 2017 iteration of the Patriots defense is ranked dead last in the NFL in points per game, giving up 34 points on average, 18.4 more points allowed than their 2016 predecessors. They also rank last in the NFL in total yards allowed (1585) and passing yards allowed (1296), and have given up the most points through four games (128) in team history.
On Sunday, the Patriots allowed the Panthers offense, ranked 29th coming into Week 4, to put up 444 yards, which is worrisome enough, but the worst part of that stat is that it actually improved their season average, which now rests at 456.8 yards per game, also last in the league.
The silver lining to the Patriots defensive issues is that the majority of the breakdowns appear to rooted in communication issues in the secondary, with the primary culprit being the aforementioned Stephon Gilmore, who signed a five-year, 65 million dollar deal with the Patriots just months ago, 40 million of which was guaranteed.