Posted by RidingWithTheKing
As a die hard Pats fan since 1976, I truly appreciate that this team has been in the mix just about every year since 2001. When you look at some of the teams that have been at or near the top during this span, only to flame out after a couple of years (St. Louis, Carolina, Denver), you have to give props to this team.
But... the current team seems flawed, especially on defense. This year and last, I have absolutely zero confidence in this defense on 3rd and anything 15 yards and under. I thought that with the signings of Haynesworth, Carter and Ellis, things would change, that the Pats would finally have a semblance or a pass rush, and this would take some pressure off the secondary. Instead, there's basically no pass rush (most of this teams' sacks look like coverage sacks). It drives me crazy that just about every team the Patriots play seem to be able to dial up a pass rush and generate decent pressure (against the vaunted Pats O-line) on Brady, while the opposing team's QB can just sit back and survey the field on what seems like 95% of the plays. And apart from McCourty's sophomore slump, from a talent perspective, this year's secondary looks much worse that last year's (which was not good).
I know that you're critcal of Brady, but this defense puts a lot of pressure against Brady and the rest of the offense. When I watched Pittsburgh's first offensive series last week, it looked like Pittsburgh would be able to go between the 20's at will on this defense, which is what happened all day. So Brady and the offense know that if they don't score, they aren't going to see the ball again for half a quarter. At some point, "bend but not break" becomes a recipe for disaster. I think this offense is plenty good enough to go deep in the playoffs, but this doesn't look anything like a championship caliber defense to me.