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The Patriots defense turns it up against the Vikings, but can it grow on this game?

New England had a pretty good performance yesterday.

Minnesota Vikings v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

With the impressive showing from the New England Patriots defense against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, I must ask the question: how does this change the perception of this defense? This was one of its best showings all season. I love talking defense and I know it isn’t flashy like offense talk, but it works for me.

What can we say about this secondary play of late? I was speaking with Jim Gilhooly, a fellow Pats fan and someone I consider a friend, after the game about it. The man always points out things to me about players that I might miss. Tonight was one of those nights when he pointed out how athletic they are. This is now two weeks that they’ve showed up. I know one was against the Jets, but you can only play who is on your schedule.

This week was different though wasn’t it? We heard all week about the Vikings offensive weapons. What the Patriots defense did was dominate this game on the defensive side of the ball. The stats were just like a page from the book of the early Super Bowl runs. The pair of corners Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty held Diggs along with Thielen to a whopping 9 catches for 68 yards.

Also: how good has McCourty been this year? A guy that we thought was a bubble player has been a key factor. And I don’t know how you feel, but J.C. Jackson has something special about him. The rookie was targeted three times in the end zone in the game with one being picked by Duron Harmon. The more he plays the more I’m impressed.

The defensive line was awesome all game as well: Trey Flowers with one sack in the game being his usual force. I can’t forget Lawrence Guy here with another solid effort. They all showed up, and Adrian Clayborn was applying pressure on Cousins. Just a total team effort.

I also think Brian Flores deserves a lot of credit for his game planning in this one. The players love playing for him and it shows. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a hot commodity in the offseason for a head coaching position.

I’m looking forward to seeing how they play in Miami now. They traditionally play like a hot mess down there, but I’m optimistic this time. What I hope these last few weeks will do is act as a springboard going forward.

You can follow me on Twitter @Chris_Blackey. Let’s talk - I’m always down for good conversation ✌