Third-Down, Red-Zone Defense to Determine the Success of the Patriots

September 11, 2013   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Coach Bill Belichick's view on defense is simple. What really matters to him is scoring more points than the opponent and winning the turnover battle. In those two categories, New England has been one of the best in the league over the past three years.
But there's more to good defense than points allowed and turnovers. This approach has failed the Patriots in the last four playoff losses as New England is a minus-seven combined. The defense couldn't hold any opponent under 20 points.
Despite finishing the season in the top 10 in plus/minus, the Patriots failed to produce takeaways when they needed them most. Opponents with a ball security edge made New England pay dearly.
Season +/- Rank Playoff Opponent +/- 3rd Down Red Zone 2009 6 8 Baltimore -2 10/16 4/4 2010 28 1 NY Jets -1 6/13 4/5 2011 17 3 NY Giants -1 5/11 2/3 2012 25 1 Baltimore -3 5/12 4/4  
Turnovers are feast or famine. While the Patriots have been great at forcing turnovers, opponents wi...

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