Patriots' dirty little secret - Metro US

Patriots’ dirty little secret

If you only care about one stat — the final score — then you’re surely feeling just fine about the Patriots’ last two weeks.

After all, they’re 2-0 heading into a Week 3 matchup with division foe Buffalo.

But look a little deeper, and you’ll see the dirty little secret behind New England’s sterling record: The defense, once again, is giving up way too many yards.

The unit made Chad Henne look like Dan Marino in Week 1, and the Chargers had no issues racking up yardage on Sunday, either.

Through two games, the Pats have given up an average of 479 total yards — second-worst in the league, ahead of only Miami. In Week 2, they couldn’t buy a third-down stop against the Chargers.

“The big problem we had [Sunday] was that we had our chances to get off the field and we just didn’t do a good job of it,” coach Bill Belichick said yesterday. “We had several plays that we could have made on third down that I think were pretty makeable plays, that we just didn’t make them.”

Four turnovers bailed the Pats out, keeping San Diego’s hefty yardage total from turning into a boatload of points.

“Turnovers are a direct correlation to wins and losses,” linebacker Jerod Mayo said. “I think this defense, we really strive to get a lot of turnovers and give the ball to our offense, who we have a lot of confidence in.”

New England also clamped down with a second key goal-line stand in as many weeks.

“Whenever you give up the yards that you’ve given up, it’s never going to be a good thing as far as looking at the defense,” linebacker Rob Ninkovich said. “But I think that in certain situations we do get off the field and we get the ball.”

More from our Sister Sites