How good is the defense?
posted at 11/23/2009 12:01 PM EST
At the end of the season last year, we all heard how the defense was too old. Then after guys like Harrison, Bruschi, Seymour and Vrabel left, we heard that the team didn't have those veteran clutch guys. And we all heard how the defense was the team's Achilles' heal and wasn't that good.
Now after 10 weeks, here is how defense ranks:
(Rankings are per/game)
Points: 2nd NFL/2nd AFC.
Total yards: 6th/NFL; 3rd/AFC.
Rushing yards: 15th NFL; 8th AFC.
Passing yards: 6th NFL; 3rd/AFC.
As Parcells said, you are what the records says you are, and the stats for the Pats' defense are pretty good. If the Patriots didn't give up that last score to the Colts, they'd be tied for first in points with the Colts. And remember, the defense was without the starting defensive ends against the Colts and was missing Mayo for a few games. Until the last two drives, I thought the defense played very well against the Colts overall.
In my opinion, the defense is better that many think. It's not yet that elite unit that you trust, but I think it's a unit that's on the upswing. The secondary is getting better. The pass rush seems to be getting better too.
To be sure, the defensive stats were helped by games against Titans and Bucs for example, but all teams have their fair share of scrubs that they play against. I think the upcoming game against the Saints will tell us more.
Like I said, I think this is a group that will be much better at the end of the season than it was at the beginning as all the new young players get even more comfortable in the system and get more experience.