What has been the most impressive aspect of this Patriots season nine games in?
Raj: Team spirit. Really. Because I can't say the offense since they aren't consistent and don't look like one of the NFL's best. And the defense is really torn up. But why are the Patriots 7-2, hm? Because they have that spirit that motivates them to win games. Listen to the SoundFX of the Pats' miracle comeback against the Saints. I wanted to cry because they played like a team and motivated each other to win the game. And sure enough, we saw the Patriots win the game. And while they haven't been great offensively (minus last week, that was great), they have the best spirit in the NFL. And I can tell you this: as long as that fire keeps burning, this team will not go down without a fight.
Jason: The secondary has been a revelation. McCourty and Talib have played at an elite level, but other players like Gregory, Dennard and Arrington have really stepped up their game. After ranking 29th against the pass last year, in 2013 they have allowed a completion percentage of just 55 and given up just 13 passing TDs against 12 INTs and 6.1 yards per attempt. They've basically made the average opponent look like Brandon Weeden.
Derek: I absolutely have to say the coaching. Think about it. This team lost Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd, and Danny Woodhead in the off-season. Gronk was out until Week 7. Those were Brady's top five targets last season. Welker's replacement, Danny Amendola, has been injured all season and missed four entire games. Shane Vereen hasn't played since Week 1. Brady has been primarily throwing to a college quarterback and two rookies, one of which was undrafted. Then, the Patriots lose Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Tommy Kelly to season-ending injuries in three straight weeks. They end up succeeding by plugging in no-names like Chris Jones and Joe Vellano on the line, and this just happens to also be occuring when their best defender, Aqib Talib has missed the past three games with a hip injury. And the cherry on this turd sundae is the loss of starting right tackle, Sebastian Vollmer, to IR. Oh, and let's not forget that Tom Brady is having just about the worst statistical season of his career.
How is this team 7-2?
All the "Andy Reid for coach of the year" supporters can shove it. The red walrus has done nothing that can be compared with what Bill Belichick and the coaching staff have been able to achieve with this team.