J.C. Jackson says Patriots defense “one of the best” in league after shutout of Falcons

The 25-0 shutout victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night was just a continuation of a stretch of outstanding play from the defense of the New England Patriots.

It was the third straight game the Patriots have held an opponent to less than 10 points. They haven’t allowed a touchdown on their last 19 defensive possessions and have climbed to second in the league in points per game prior to the rest of this weekend’s contests. Including Thursday night, the Patriots are allowing just 16.1 points per game, which ranks second to the 15.0 points per game allowed by the Buffalo Bills.

“I feel like we’ve got one of the best defenses in the league,” cornerback J.C. Jackson said, via Paul Newberry of the Associated Press.

It’s just the second time in franchise history that the Patriots have gone three straight regular season games allowing less than a touchdown within the same season. A three-game stretch in December 2005 saw the Patriots allow three points in a home win over the New York Jets, seven points in a road win over the Bills, followed by a shutout victory at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If you include the playoffs, the Patriots also had a three-game stretch in 2004. That streak included allowing seven points on the road at the Jets, seven points at home to the San Francisco 49ers and a first-round 20-3 playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

The current stretch for New England includes a 24-6 win over the Carolina Panthers, 45-7 win over the Cleveland Browns and the shutout win over the Falcons. The win over Atlanta was the second time this season the Patriots have notched four interceptions in a game, also accomplishing the feat in Week Two against Zach Wilson and the Jets.

In addition to points per game, the Patriots now rank fourth in the league in total defense at 313.2 yards per game.

“We’re catching our stride,” linebacker Matthew Judon said. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence.”

With two meetings with the Buffalo Bills and games against the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts in their next four contests, it’s a good time for the Patriots defense to be playing at the level they’ve shown over the last month.