Midseason Report: New England Patriots

How are they doing it?

That has been a common question from out-of-town media members in recent weeks when it comes to the New England Patriots and their 7-2 record. Many teams that sustain similar injuries to key players usually struggle, but the Patriots have persevered with depth players meeting the challenge in expanded roles and the club finding a way to come through in the few crucial plays that often determine the outcome of games.

It hasn't always looked pretty -- and that might explain why some grades are a bit lower than one might expect from a first-place team. Feel free to grade the “grader” in the comments section and let us know if we were too easy, too harsh or just right.