Great breakdown above by Jermaine Wiggins. These things are hard to see on TV, and hard to understand unless explains like above.
Also on Boston.com Shalise Manza Young has some eye opening stats on the Patriots pass defense. Saying that 87% of the points the Pats have given up have come on drives where the Pariots gave up 20+ yard pass plays.
Whatever the problem is, the Patriots aren't giving any answers. Can they improve? Yes, obviously that remains a possibility. However, I think the concern stems from the fact that doubt is starting to creep in on whether they can. We think every year that this defense will get better, but it just hasn't. In fact, it's only regressed.
At the current rate, the Patriots will allow 87 passes of 20 yards-plus this season, even more than their league-worst 79 last year.
Since 2007, the Patriots have gotten steadily worse: they allowed 32 in ’07, when they dominated nearly every game and teams were forced to pass to try to catch up; 38 in 2008, 42 in 2009, and 55 in 2010. They slipped farther and farther down the league ranking in the category each year.
[Matt] Patricia was asked several times why there has been no improvement in the Patriots pass defense, which is once again last in the AFC and 29th in the NFL. Again and again, he reverted to the line that they are trying to get better.
But every team is trying to get better, and some teams are showing signs that they are. So what is the barrier to the Patriots’ progress?
“I think it really comes down to us just trying to get better every week,” Patricia said. “And that’s what we’re trying to do.”