Since a disappointing season in 2009 when they went just 10-6, the Patriots have gone 27-5 in the regular season over the last two seasons. The dry, monotonous head coach, Bill Belichick, always has his troops ready to play, and quarterback Tom Brady can be counted on for a Pro Bowl-caliber performance just about every weekend.
On Sunday, Belichick's game plan and Brady's leadership of the offense were too much for the Titans to handle. Belichick and Brady overwhelming the rest of the NFL is nothing new, of course. The Patriots also won the turnover battle 2-0, which is also old news, as the Patriots are a combined +45 in turnover differential over the last two seasons.
However, there were three things that stood out from this game that were different from the way the Patriots have been winning in recent seasons.
The ability of the defense to shut down the run, the size and athleticism of the defense and the offensive balance displayed by the Patriots on Sunday were signs that while the team remains very good, perhaps they will win with a slightly different style this season.