Found December 11, 2012 on Boston's Bettah:
Devin McCourty and the Patriots’ defense is championship caliber The most impressive part about the New England Patriots ransacking of the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football wasn’t Tom Brady’s four touchdowns or Brandon Lloyd’s ability to beat man coverage or even the offensive line slowing down the vaunted Texans defensive line. What was happening on that side of the ball has been somewhat expected from the New England Patriots against anyone in the NFL. Questions from this team have come on the other side of the ball. Mainly, the question has been “Can this defense lead the Patriots’ to a Super Bowl Championship?” Throughout most of 2012 in both the post-season of last year and the early portions of the 2012-2013 season, that question has usually been answered with a resounding “no”. The defense wasn’t tough enough and their greatest weakness (the secondary) was not being helped by a below average pass-rush. The Patriots’ best defense was it’s offense leading long drives down the field which was the exact opposite of what the high-powered offense was trying to do. The offense and the defense mixed about as well as vodka and salad dressing. Something weird happened though. After giving up 31 points to the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots forced four turnovers against the Colts then preceded to not allow more than 19 points in any game since. On Monday Night Football against another top offense featuring stars such as Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, the Patriots allowed 14 total points including one garbage time touchdown. Their defense has gone from one of the worst scoring defenses in football to the 11th ranked scoring defense. They force turnovers and prevent points. Twice on Monday the Texans had a fourth down and five or less in the second quarter where the game was still in balance. Both times, the Patriots came up with the big stop. Basically, this is a defense that can win a Super Bowl. A lot of it changed when Aqib Talib came in for the New England Patriots. It’s the obvious thing to point to as well. The last Patriots’ game before Talib was that Buffalo game where they gave up 31 points. In Talib’s first game, he had a pick-six against Andrew Luck. Inserting Talib into the line-up gave the Patriots better defensive flexibility. It allowed Devin McCourty to move to safety, a position that is more natural to him due to his unique ball skills and tackling ability. Talib’s quality coverage ability gave the Patriots flexibility in terms of help coverage to the other side of the field especially with Kyle Arrington and rookie Alfonzo Denard. Then, the Patriots dialed up the pressure up front. Perhaps they were encouraged by a more talented secondary that could make plays if the front seven didn’t get to the quarterback, but the Patriots have been coming stronger and more often at opposing quarterbacks. This is causing forced throws from opposing quarterbacks and more turnovers. Is it one of the best defenses in football or in Patriots’ history? No, but recent years have also shown us that defenses don’t have to be top in the league in order to win a Super Bowl. The 2010 Saints did just enough defensively to win a Super Bowl, as did the 2011 Packers. Both of those defenses did similarly to what these Patriots do. They make enough big plays to get the ball back to their offense and then score at a ridiculous rate. What makes this defense different from last years version is that the Patriots actually have more talent on defense. They can make more plays than they did last year. They can make a big tackle when they need to and they can trust a secondary player to cover a good to great receiver. It’s that reason that the Patriots defense can consider itself championship caliber.

Report: Patriots Set to Re-Sign Deion Branch

When Deion Branch was released on Nov. 17 to make room for Greg Salas, the question wasn’t if he was going to return to the Patriots, but when. That question has been resolved. The Patriots are set to re-sign Branch, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe. Branch played in seven games with New England this season, while starting three. He has nine receptions for...

Brandon Lloyd deals with criticism

It's no secret that New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has been criticized quite heavily in his first season with the team and I certainly can't exclude myself from that group of criticizers. There was much expected from the veteran wideout as Lloyd has been pretty solid for the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams over the past couple seasons and the Pats have...

Report: Rob Gronkowski ‘Expected to Try to Practice This Week,’ One Week Ahead of Rehab Schedule

When Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm Nov. 18, the timetable for his return was set at four to six weeks. This week marks the third week since the injury, meaning Gronkowski would first play Dec. 16 if kept to the original schedule. But, as Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe reports, Gronkowski is expected to try to practice this week. according to a league source, Rob Gronkowski...

Brandon Bolden active for Patriots

The New England Patriots might be missing a few receivers, but the running back group has increased today ahead of the Monday night game vs the Houston Texans.Patriots activated RB Brandon Bolden to the 53-man roster.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 10, 2012After a four game suspension, rookie RB Brandon Bolden is back for the Patriots. He joins up with Stevan Ridley...

Report: Gronkowski could return to practice this week

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski will attempt to practice this week, less than a month after he sustained a broken forearm and underwent surgery, The Boston Globe reported. He has missed three games since he was injured in a Nov. 18 victory over Indianapolis. The Patriots have all three during his absence in convincing fashion. The Patriots play San Francisco on Sunday and...

"Over the past four games, the Patriots have converted 61% of their third-down tries, while no other..."

“Over the past four games, the Patriots have converted 61% of their third-down tries, while no...

Troy Brown says Bill Belichick won't let Randy Moss beat him

Former New England Patriots wide receiver (really more of a Swiss Army knife) Troy Brown was on WEEI Tuesday and stated that Bill Belichick usually prefers not to be beaten by former Patriots and that Randy Moss would have a tough time finding success Sunday night."If there's somebody on that team that will beat the Patriots on Sunday, it will not be Randy Moss," Brown...

The New England Patriots Show They Are Team To Beat in the NFL.

  Although many may not have expected the New England Patriots to completely dismantle the Houston Texans last night on Monday Night Football, but if history is our guide, it should come as no The New England Patriots are a machine, they have now won ten games in ten consecutive seasons, posted 12 consecutive winning seasons and once the seasons start to change from fall to winter...

Tom Brady's record breaking performance

Today truly is Tom Brady day. On the 12th day of the 12th month of 2012, the New England Patriots QB was awarded the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award, for a record breaking 23rd time.Tom Brady, No. 12, wins AFC offensive player of the week on 12-12-12...his record 23rd— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) December 12, 2012The MVP chants heard from the crowd during the...

Video: Tom Brady interviewed by Mike Tirico before Monday Night Football

Tom Brady talks about being the last standing of the old Pats, his new daughter, the Texans and more!

Deion Branch’s Return to Patriots Was Inevitable, But Now Is Perfect Time for Reunion

Deion Branch‘s spot in the Patriots’ locker room was left intact even after the team released him back on Nov. 17. The unattended, and untouched, slot, stationed just to the right of quarterback Tom Brady, was a sign that Branch’s days in New England might not yet be finished. The Patriots announced the long-awaited return of the reliable veteran on Wednesday, a move that,...

Donald Trump wishes Patriots good luck, calls Bill Belichick ‘Bob’

Donald Trump had the right idea in mind when he wished the New England Patriots good luck before the team’s “Monday Night Football” game against the Houston Texans, but he made one mistake. He called Bill Belichick “Bob” for some reason: Good Luck to Bob Kraft, Tom Brady and Coach Bob Belichick tonight. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2012 I guess Trump...

5 Reasons Why Tom Brady Is The NFL's Most Valuable Player

With Tom Brady's four touchdown passes in the Patriots 42-14 dismantling of the Houston Texans  Monday night, let the debate begin. Tom Brady is the NFL's Most Valuable Player for the 2012 season.I know of one voter who might disagree, (Adam Schein endorses Andrew Luck for MVP), but how could you even consider Luck, after watching Brady go to work Monday night on J.J. (S...

Stallworth sees season-high, low within 24 hours

When asked about Donte' Stallworth's contribution to the New England Patriots' Monday night victory over the Houston Texans, coach Bill Belichick said that football is about “getting opportunities and taking advantage of them and making them count. "Sometimes you get just a couple and you have to make those count and he sure did.” Oh, how right he was. The Pats...
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