Photo from Boston Herald
The Patriots defense suffered a lot of important casualties, like Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo. Aqib Talib was not 100% for a good portion of the season and was injured for the 2nd straight year in the AFC Championship on a pick play involving ex-Patriot Wes Welker. Before the injuries set in, though, they were shaping up to be a solid unit. Maybe not Seattle or San Francisco levels, but a healthy Patriots defense probably (but not garaunteed) would have beaten Denver.

Looking to next year, if the Patriots can retain their key players and if said key players stay healthy, then the Patriots could be a top-10 defense. If you have any doubts, think about how the defense was playing before Wilfork, Mayo and Talib got hurt. They were well on their way to being a top 10 defense. Wilfork and Mayo were stifling on the front line and Talib was on his way to establishing himself as a top-notch shutdown corner. They could make a run with some of the rookies that started to make a name for themselves (i.e. Logan Ryan) mixed in with the returning veterans, assuming the Patriots retain their defensive core.

No way they can compete with the elite defenses in the league like San Francisco or Seattle, but it could be a top 10 defense next year, which I think could get the Patriots a 4th Super Bowl if the Pats can get enough around Tom Brady.

Twitter - @ConorJF1016

Unknown 2/05/2014 07:43:00 PM Edit

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