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Years and years, Patriot fans heavily relied on their offense to produce not only the points, but the wins. The defense was always being worked on and even with the genius of Belichick, the defense simply could never be trusted. Its not only cost the Patriots regular season wins, but even playoff wins, and one could say a Super Bowl. Think of where Tom Brady would be standing right now if his defense wasn't ranked nearly

dead last in the league? He directed those teams to the promise land without really relying on the defense for support.

But now Tom needs them now more than ever, at least for the time being. So has the defense finally made the step to not only get out of the basement, but to be considered a solid defense? Here are the defensive numbers since 2008:

Year
Total Defense
Pass Defense
Rush Defense
2008
10th
11th
15th
2009
11st
12th
13th
2010
25th
30th
11th
2011#
31st
31st
17th
2012
25th
29th
9th
2013*
9th
5th
28th
*Currently
# Super Bowl year

As you can see, the Patriots defense has declined ever since losing the Super Bowl in 2007. Only seeing one top 10 in any of the rankings, which was last year in the rush defense. The 2013 numbers seem promising, but the Patriots have played against two rookie quarterbacks, we'll find out Sunday night when the Patriots take on the Falcons in a couple of weeks, who are the first real offensive test for New England's defense. 

So to answer the question, has the defense taken the next step? So far, so good, but only time will tell. The defensive line is bringing pressure and the pass defense has been spotty, but hasn't looked too bad. The rush defense seems to have taken a step back, but keep in mind the Patriots played against two mobile QB's with pretty decent run games. 

We'll see in time, hopefully it has. 

Eric Anderson
@EAric94

Eric Anderson 9/17/2013 12:22:00 PM Edit
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