Patriots secondary up to its old tricks

The Patriots could do little to slow down the Steelers’ attack Sunday.

They are who we thought they were! 

The Patriots secondary, that is.

After consecutive games of above-average pass defense, the much-maligned unit took another nosedive Sunday at Pittsburgh.

Let’s recap the weekend’s events:

On Friday, the Pats released veteran cornerback Leigh Bodden. On Saturday, they placed second-round pick Ras-I Dowling on IR. On Sunday, they gave up 365 yards through the air and 23 passing first downs, and allowed the Steelers to convert 10 of 16 third-down tries.

 Yeah, about that …

“There are things they did that obviously caused some problems,” coach Bill Belichick said. “We either didn’t make adjustments to it quick enough or, in some cases, we tried to adjust to it but we just couldn’t get it done the way we needed to get it done.”

Three of Steelers’ 10 longest plays came on third-and-11 or longer, all of which were converted into first downs.

Six third-down plays ended in double-digit passing yardage for Ben Roethlisberger, and two third-down plays resulted in passing touchdowns.

“It was communication, a little bit of lack of focus on our part,” safety James Ihedigbo said. “I’ll put it on myself and the secondary, and Pat [Chung] I’m sure will put it on himself as well. But those are things we’re going to rectify and correct.

“I mean, 10-for-16 on third down, you have to correct that in this league to win. So like I said, we’ll wear it, but we’ll have a chip on our shoulder this week and be ready to go.”

Better balance coming

The Patriots offensive attack Sunday was skewed wildly toward the pass, with Tom Brady attempting 35 throws to just 12 total runs.

It was ineffective. But before you worry about seeing more of the same, know that wasn’t the plan.
“A lot of plays that are in the fourth quarter, we were down by 13 points, 10 points,” coach Bill Belichick said. “There’s going to be more passes … than there are going to be runs when you’re in that situation.” 

Belichick expecting more out of Faulk

Patriots coach Bill Belichick yesterday didn’t find fault with Kevin Faulk’s first outing of the season.  
No worries there — he was pretty solid, all told.

What’s nice for Pats fans is that Belichick expects the veteran rusher to improve even more as the season goes on.

“I think he did all right,” Belichick said. “I think it will be better going forward, but I think it was all right.”


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