Despite a terrible display of tackling, execution, and pass coverage the Patriots were able to barely get past the Bills 37-31 following a Devin McCourty interception in the end zone with less than a minute to play and Buffalo threatening to score. The Patriots defense seemingly took a giant step back following the blowout win over the Rams in London two weeks ago. The Patriots allowed a franchise-most 35 first downs in the win, it was also the most the Bills have earned in a single game. Although the unit allowed 481 total yards, they did force three turnovers, which ultimately was the key in the victory, but will this get the job done come playoff time?
Sports radio was full of callers and opinions regarding the defense, most negative as they made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like a Pro-Bowler and the Bills look like a team far better than their 3-6 record. This was relatively unexpected as the team had two weeks to prepare coming off a bye week.
One question I had was where was the blitzing which worked two weeks ago against the Rams? Following its success in London, I expected to see more of it beginning Sunday, but instead there wasn’t much at all. Obviously the Patriots’ front-seven is the strength of the defense, why not give those guys a chance to make plays instead of dropping seven into coverage? What good is Brandon Spikes or Dont’a Hightower dropping back into pass coverage? Let them loose and give them the chance to make plays. It could even take some of the pressure off the horrid secondary.
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Position of power– Shalise Manza Young looks at how the Patriots have taken control of the AFC East after all four teams were 3-3 just three weeks ago.
Patriots get closure for the moment– Chad Finn says despite all the negatives, a “W is still a W.”
Patriots report card– Ron Borges hands out his grades for this week and for a win they are not very good.
Aqib Talib returns to work– Jeff Howe has how Talib is now with the Patriots and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Bill Parcells: This Patriots team is better than 2011 edition– Christopher Price talks to Bill Parcells and gets his thoughts on this years team.
Patriots roll up 25 missed tackles vs. Bills– Tom E. Curran looks back at the horrible tackling which took place Sunday.
Bills rush attack highlights sloppy defensive day for Patriots– Mary Paoletti says the Patriots struggled against the run, and covering running backs against the Bills.