Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/12/12
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Defense is the Patriots’ Achilles’ heel. While New England’s defense iced Sunday’s win over the Bills, it wasn’t before the unit once again struggled mightily. Now, fans and analysts alike are wondering whether the Pats truly are Super Bowl contenders despite New England improving to 6-3 and sitting atop the AFC East. The Patriots currently rank 25th in opponents yards per game, as the Bills torched the Patriots for 481 yards and 31 points on Sunday. The subpar performance — which is just the latest in what has been a difficult season for the defense — has some, including former Patriots cornerback Ty Law, calling the D “atrocious.” But just how terrible is the defense? The knock on the Patriots all last season was the defense, particularly the secondary, but the unit figured to be much improved this season after some key offseason additions. That’s hardly been the case, though, and now there’s some debate as to whether this year’s version of the defense could actually be worse than last year’s version. That’s saying an awful lot, but watching the Bills move the ball with ease against the Patriots was very unsettling for fans in New England. Wins are wins, and the Patriots did advance to the Super Bowl last season despite a porous defense, but something definitely has to change going forward. Now, it’s time for you to be the judge. Is this year’s defense actually worse than last year’s? Take Our Poll

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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