The New England Patriots rank 2nd in the NFL in points allowed per game. They rank 9th in yards allowed per game. They rank 2nd in the NFL against the run, per DVOA. While they might not be regarded as the top 3 defense their points allowed ranking suggests, they’ve been a pretty good defense all season.
For whatever reason, some have tried to say that the Patriots have lucked into their top defensive ranking on the backs of an extremely easy schedule.
The Patriots defense heard you loud and clear and they’re working to shut everyone up.
“A couple weeks ago [people said] we were a terrible defense,” Patriots FS Devin McCourty said, “[We] do OK on Monday Night Football, now [they’re saying] we’re here, we’ve arrived. So I don’t know, I think we know what we are. We’re a hard-working unit. We grind each week to go out there and play well.”
The Patriots are coming off their best two-game stretch all season, after erasing the Rams offense and thoroughly handling the Ravens offense. The defenders just want to keep the positive plays coming with three more games in the regular season against familiar foes.
“We come in here and we grind and we work hard each day and it’s all to go out there and try to play well one time a week,” McCourty explained. “When it doesn’t go well, you hear about it and you expect it. Everyone has a job in this. You just have to have an attitude about you that you’ve got to keep coming to work, keep doing what you’ve got to do to get better and really believe in your teammates and coaching staff. I think that’s one of the things that I’m proud to say, playing for this team, that every year I’ve been here it’s been the same thing. Whether it’s good or bad, we come in do the same thing. In my seventh year here, so far it’s worked out pretty well, so I’ll continue to do it.”
Last week, the Patriots defense outplayed the more well-regarded Ravens defense; Baltimore ranked 1st in most point and yard rankings. This week, the Patriots defense will try to show-up the more well-regarded Broncos defense. If McCourty and company can outshine the Broncos defense, then maybe people will finally accept that the Patriots defense is one of the better units in the NFL.