Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 1/4/12

Alright, we’re getting off the 'Patriots defense is going to sink us' bandwagon. Three weeks in a row they have gotten themselves in hot water, and then gotten them out of it. Sure, you could say that Denver was up 16-7, 17-0 against the Dolphins, or 21-0 vs. the Bills. Yes, you can dwell on that... or the fact that they won all three games.

The offense came out slow in all three games and that factors in a slow start all around. However, the adjustments that Matt Patricia and Pepper Johnson made show us they do have a handle on what’s going on.

The Patriots defensive coaching staff added a new wrinkle as Devin McCourty played at the free safety position. The Starting corners were Antwuan Molden and Kyle Arrington, being joined by Patrick Chung who has been out since the Dallas game. The Patriots went man to man early which was the mistake they made in week 3 as the Ryan Fitzpatrick shredded them. Sunday, he started the same way.  But unlike in Buffalo where they couldn't find any answers after falling behind 21-0, the Patriots went to a two deep zone over the one high safety man to man that was getting scorched.

Sterling Moore, who had been released and re-signed to the practice squad, was back in the 53 man lineup and came up huge. Moore had two interceptions. Both weren’t gifts, but big time picks. Down 21-20, the first came when Moore jumped a short route and outfought Ruvell Martin, which helped put the Patriots up 28-21.

Devin McCourty then got his first interception as a free safety, collecting a tipped ball and returned it into Bills territory. Moore made the defensive play of the game as he covered David Nelson coming out of the flat and again jumped the route and was able to turn up field and take it to the house for six.

After giving up 21 points in the first quarter, the defense didn’t allow another point. Remember this was the offense that kept piling up yards in week 3. Steve Johnson, their primary weapon was benched for being insubordinate, and that surely factors into the Patriots performance. However, the two picks by Moore was ability and not the lack of for the Bills as the second interception came with Moore covering Nelson, one the Bills top WR’s.

Buffalo missing Fred Jackson, was limited in the run game as Tashard Choice was the primary back.  Mark Anderson and Kyle Love recorded sacks, and from the second quarter on, the front seven got decent pressure on Fitzpatrick.

We were also encouraged that the Patriots used more complex packages to blitz. Having Patrick Chung back give them a true blitzing safety. Chung was able to get into the backfield and force a couple of hurried throws.

Well, play time is over, but we’re not jumping ship. We think the Patriots can play good enough defense to go far through the playoffs…call us crazy.

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