Patriots defense: Not too shabby

Jerod Mayo has been a leader on the improving Patriots defense.

So, the Patriots defense is going to blow this team’s chance at a fourth Super Bowl title, eh?

They’re going to give up 500 passing yards, 40 points, and blow the last goal-line stand of the game against the Ravens?

Based on the way the national media portrays the Pats D, you’d have every reason to think those things. Heck, Troy Aikman said the Patriots had the worst defense to ever make the playoffs.
Come. On.

Listen, the Pats defense isn’t going to break any records anytime soon, but worst ever? Not even close. In fact, there are a lot of stats that would prove the Patriots defense is satisfactory. And with an offense like the one they possess, satisfactory is more than enough.

Let’s get this out of the way right now: They ranked 31st in total yardage allowed. Big whoop. Teams threw on the Patriots 619 times in the regular season, fourth most in the NFL. Eventually those yards will add up.

But did yards given up translate to points? Nope. When it came to points allowed, the Patriots gave up 21.4, putting them in the top half of the league. In fact, the Patriots have only given up more than seven points in the second half once in the last nine weeks.

“Each week we are getting better,” Vince Wilfork said. “That’s our goal to get better, and each week we have. It’s something that we work for and that’s what we’ll continue to do. The better we can be prepared, the better we’ll be on Sunday. That’s where we’re at right now.”

Wilfork is having arguably his best season as a Patriot. On top of the 52 tackles, he had two interceptions and one forced fumble during the regular season. That’s three takeaways out of an AFC-leading 34.

And when it comes to run defense, the Pats are relatively stable. They’ll have to be on Sunday because of Ray Rice.

“I think it all starts with [Rice],” Wilfork said this week. “After him, it starts with the quarterback. … We have to do a good job of slowing [Rice] down and hopefully everything else will fall in place for us.”

The Cold, Hard Football Facts
A look at the NFL’s conference title games through the eyes of the stat experts at ColdHardFootballFacts.com.
 
The importance of Defensive Hogs
The Cold, Hard Football Facts measure the performance of every defensive front in football each year with our Defensive Hog Index. It’s proven that teams with great defensive lines are built to win playoff football. The 2007 Giants were No. 1 in the DHI. They won the Super Bowl. The 2008 Steelers were No. 1 in the DHI. They won the Super Bowl. The statistic is an incredible 37-15 (.712) picking playoff winners since it was introduced in 2007, including 6-2 here in the 2011 playoffs. Here’s how the NFL’s Final Four stack up on the Defensive Hog Index
 
Baltimore Ravens – No. 1
San Francisco 49ers – No. 2
New York Giants – No. 13
New England Patriots – No. 25



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.

NFL

Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.

NFL

Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…