Much has been made of Rob Ryan and the Cowboys defense on its way into Foxborough this weekend. But when the whistle blows Sunday, it’s the Patriots ‘D’ that will be the story.

New England is coming off its best defensive performance of the season. But is that really saying much?

The Jets — and especially Mark Sanchez — have been one of the worst disappointments of the season. And while it was nice to see Vince Wilfork, Devin McCourty and even Brandon Spikes look sharp, there are bigger hurdles on the horizon.

Joke all you want about Tony Romo and his astonishing ability to blow games, but the fact this year is that he’s a top-10 QB, with weapons like Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.

 

If the Pats are holding onto a slight lead late in the fourth, putting the ball in Romo’s hands might prove costly. He boasts a 92.1 passer rating in the last two minutes of halves. Tom Brady’s passer rating for the same timeframe is just 59.5.

Last week was a test to see if the Pats’ wheels are, in fact, on. They passed. But will they fall off as soon as another high-powered offense takes the field?

“We’re practicing better as a defense and I think it’s showing on Sundays,” McCourty said Thursday. “Right now, we’re just trying to keep that going — keep having good practices, putting it together, and it will give us the confidence to go out there on Sundays and play confident, trust our abilities, trust what we did all week and just go out there and play good defense.”

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