Ho-hum. Another game, another 30-something points. That was the story once again for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense on Sunday in their 37-31 win over the Bills. The Patriots offense is now averaging a league leading 33.2 points per game and 430 yards per game. Needless to say, it doesn’t take someone with a lot of football knowledge to see that this offense is super bowl caliber. In order to get to where the Patriots want to go though, there is one defense they will have to figure out how to overcome.
Oh, by the way, it’s the defense standing on the same sideline is them.
That’s right, the Patriots defense is the most problematic one that Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick have been up against this year. The Patriots defenses has given up at least 20 points in 7 of their 9 games, and are 25th in the league in yards given up per game. So far, the only saving grace for the young Patriots defense has been their turnover ratio. As a team the Patriots have forced 17 fumbles and intercepted 10 passes. That works out to be a +16 turnover margin. What happens when the turnovers go away though? Or when their 29th ranked pass defense goes up against an elite quarterback in the postseason?
Newly acquired cornerback Aqib Talib will make his Patriots debut on Sunday against the Colts and it will be interesting to see if he can provide a much-needed boost to the pass defense. Then again, the Patriots will be facing a rookie quarterback who has been vulnerable to the turnover this year (Andrew Luck), so it may not be an issue.
Now, with that being said, the Patriots did make it to the super bowl last year with what most would call a below average defense. Plus, the offense seems to be operating on an even higher and more efficient level than they were last year. So maybe Bill Bellichick knows what he is doing more than we do. Just maybe.
One thing is for sure, for those of you who claim Brady’s super bowl wins were only because of his defense, that’s not going to be the case this year if it happens. If the Patriots want to make any noise the rest of this season/postseason, it is going to continue to be on offense and Tom Brady’s shoulders.
We’ll just have to wait and see if the Patriots offense can beat the Patriots defense.
There is one bright side to scouting your own defense though; you’re free to videotape all you want.
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