After that, Talib’s play became more inconsistent, perhaps a sign of fatigue and rust after such a long layoff.
Reggie Wayne had a back-shoulder completion against Talib for 6 yards, and then there was a 21-yard pickup by Brazill when Talib couldn’t catch up on a shallow cross.
Talib was beaten soundly in man coverage by Brazill off the line on second and 10 with 6:01 left in the second quarter, but, in what has been too rare a sight this season, a cornerback was bailed out by good safety play when Devin McCourty broke up the possible touchdown at the 3-yard line.
Talib had very good coverage against Nathan Palmer in the end zone right before halftime on an incompletion. In the third quarter, Talib gave a lot of cushion in zone coverage as Hilton picked up 16 yards.
And then in his last real competitive coverage, Talib didn’t offer much resistance as Hilton scored a 43-yard touchdown with 12:32 left in the game.
“I had my eyes in the wrong spot,” Talib said. “Eyes exactly where they shouldn’t be on the quarterback, so I watched him throw a touchdown on me, that’s what I did. Got to get a lot better.”
What you saw on that play is what you get from Talib. He’ll play very strong for much of the game, but he’ll have a few plays where his focus and technique are sloppy.
It’s a coverage that Talib is going to have to become more comfortable with, because it’s a Patriots’ specialty: the “good luck playing man coverage when you’re 7 yards off the receiver” scheme. It would seem to put the cornerback in a tough position, but the Patriots play it a lot.
Overall, I think Talib's play will get better as he gets more into football shape. I'm curious to see how he looks on a short week against the Jets.
Still, I won't complain to much. This was nice to see: