Red Zone Report: Halfway Into Season, Patriots Face Challenging Stretch

tom brady

Tom Brady. (Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — It's the Week 9 Red Zone Report, and we find the New England Patriots halfway to a perfect season. WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman and Boston Globe NFL reporter Ben Volin previewed Sunday's match-up with Baltimore and talked about where the team stands, as the Pats head into a series of games against more challenging opponents.

"I think my assessment is like what a lot of people have seen," Volin said. "The defense has been unbelievable. Of course you say 'Who have they played?' and I think that's fair—the list of offenses and quarterbacks they've played has been completely abysmal. However, the defense isn't just winning games, they're throttling and just completely annihilating teams, so I think you have to give the defense a lot of credit for that."

And the offense? Volin says it's been "a work in progress."

"They're constantly shuffling in new receivers, the offensive line has been kind of patchwork for much of the season. Tight end has been a revolving door, they've gotten I think the least amount of production out of tight end as any team in the league. And yet, the way the defense has been playing and the schedule's been setting up, it's allowed the Patriots to kind of mask their deficiencies a little bit and still win these games by 2-3 touchdowns and still kind of figure things out on the fly on offense while still winning these games."

Julian Edelman Shares Spooky 'Boogeymen' Trailer - Thumbnail Image

Julian Edelman Shares Spooky 'Boogeymen' Trailer

Despite how well things have gone on the field, there's been a ton of noise surrounding Tom Brady's future. ESPN's Adam Schefter has said multiple times he thinks Brady will play football next season, but will do so somewhere else. What's Volin's take?

"I just don't see Brady playing for another team next year," Volin said. "It's really, really difficult for me to fathom Brady leaving the Patriots after 20 years and going to a completely foreign team, working with new teammates. He'd probably have to show up for the offseason workout program. It could really hurt his legacy I think, if he goes to another team and doesn't have great success. Let's say he goes to the Chargers and go 9-7, and then I think a lot of people will be saying, well, see, look, Brady was just a system quarterback and it was all Bill Belichick here in New England."

Kaufman and Volin also talked about what returning receiver N'Keal Harry can offer after coming off injured reserve, the Pats' kicker carousel, the fact that New England didn't add an offensive lineman or tight end at the trade deadline, and more—as well as previewing Sunday's match-up with Baltimore.

Listen to this week's Red Zone Report with Adam Kaufman (@adammkaufman) and Ben Volin (@BenVolin):

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