Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald has a great write up this morning on Talib's game against the Buccaneers, in which the Patriots cornerback shut down Tampa Bay's top two receivers.

Wait..a Patriots cornerback did what?

In an era when the passing game is king, the Pats have not had a shutdown corner. At least not recently. It's great to see the Patriots finally have someone able to handle things themselves in the backfield.

The Pats have been using Talib a bit like the Jets used Revis. Not to say that Talib is as good as Revis, but Belichick has been putting him on the other team's best receiver with the expectation that he can, for the most part, shut them down.

“He’s an amazing player, and I’m happy that he’s here,” defensive end Rob Ninkovich said to Howe. “I’m happy that Tampa decided to trade him to us. I think that we have a guy that can go against the best in the league, and he’s able to pretty much shut them down. It’s a great feeling to have a guy that’s that good on the corner.”

It's a luxury that the Pats could certainly use. Their schemes became more complex against the Buccaneers. Those complex schemes meant to confuse offenses have long been a Belichick staple, but something he's been forced to get away from in recent year's due to either the lack of talent or experience on his defense.

"That philosophy will surely come into play throughout the season," writes How. "It creates a new dynamic for the defense to add layers of wrinkles, both in terms of blitzes and coverages, that will be more difficult for quarterbacks to decipher when the defensive personnel moves around the field on a potential play-by-play basis."

Talib covered Vincent Jackson until he got injured, holding him to 3 catches for 34 yards and picking off a pass. This after lining up against him a total of 38 times all over the field.

When Jackson was out of the game, Talib got Mike Williams. Freeman only threw his way once, a pass which Talib broke up once.

There really isn't a mystery as to who's been able to help turn this secondary around. Having a reliable, talented veteran corner back there goes a long way.

Who would've thought?

Michael Saver 9/24/2013 12:56:00 PM Edit

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