Patriots ‘D’ fine with holding the Mayo

Brandon Spikes, left, is emerging as a defensive force again.

With the Cowboys’ high-powered offense coming to Foxborough and Patriots defensive backbone Jerod Mayo out with an MCL injury, many assumed Dallas would have something of a field day Sunday.

It didn’t happen. But why not?

Simple. Like last week against the Jets, the defense stepped up in Mayo’s absence.

Take second-year linebacker Brandon Spikes. The youngster missed a good bit of time in training camp and in the preseason, and was actually thought to be on the outs with the franchise — for reasons unknown.

But, the last two weeks, he’s looked more like the player who started to emerge last season, combining for 14 tackles, 11 of which were solo. He also provided pressure in blitz packages.

“I think Brandon has been improving a little bit every week — increased his practice reps and his playing time and all that,” coach Bill Belichick said. “He’s getting better, and he made some plays for us on the next to last possession defensively.

“When they were trying to run the clock, he blitzed up the middle a couple times and was disruptive, and we were able to get the runner for little or no gain.”

Spikes is just one of many who impressed on Sunday. Andre Carter had two sacks on Tony Romo, while Kyle Arrington had a team-high 11 tackles and his league-leading fourth interception.

Director of player personnel Nick Caserio said Arrington is making the most of situations that allow him to make an interception — but that it’s good team defense that creates the opportunity.

And speaking of opportunities, James Ihedigbo has taken advantage of his, too.

“We’ve had some guys that have been dinged up at that position a little bit,” Caserio said. “He’s smart, tough, a pretty instinctive player, and he has gone in there.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

How Daysean Brock's story of being beaten and…

An outlandish story of blatant drug use inside police headquarters and beatings by several officers, told by a man charged with murder, was deemed not believable by a Philadelphia judge…

Local

Masked men robbed armored car in Mayfair, police…

Two masked men made off with more than $100,000 this morning after an armored car heist in Northeast Philadelphia, police said.

International

Putin fields question from NSA fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…

Local

Teen in 'Jihad Jane' terror case to be…

A judge on Thursday is set to sentence a high school student who pleaded guilty to helping al Qaeda and working with the woman known as "Jihad Jane."

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Going Out

Tickets on sale for Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival…

It may be hard to believe but spring weather is finally just about here, which in Philly means festivals every weekend — including the annual…

Music

Center City Jazz Festival takes over four venues…

Shortly after graduating from Temple University, jazz musician Ernest Stuart packed up his trombone and headed to New York City. Soon he was gigging and…

The Word

Lawsuit accuses 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer of raping…

A new lawsuit accuses director Bryan Singer of sexual assault against a minor.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

Parenting

Star-studded summer camps

Give your child the star treatment this summer with a celebrity-endorsed camp.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…