New England Patriots, Def, Patriots
|Def - #12||NE||Active||46||0' 0||0|
2015 Outlook: Solid/Safe PickLast updated on Aug-20-2015 by Shawn Childs
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS
Based on last year's numbers, the Patriots' 2015 defense will have at least five matchups against tough rushing attacks: the New York Jets twice, the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. The Buffalo Bills' ground game will be much improved with LeSean McCoy now in house as well.
New England will take on at least three top passing offenses: The Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts. The Eagles might be a fourth.
The Patriots finished ninth in the league in rushing yards allowed in 2014, giving up 1,669 yards, 4.0 yards per rush and only six rushing scores. Their ability to prevent rushing TDs was a big part of the reason why the Seahawks decided to throw the ball on that Super Bowl-determining play. New England allowed only two 20-yard runs all season long, the fewest in the league.
They lost their best run defender in Vince Wilfork, but first-round draft pick Malcom Brown has more than enough talent to fill that void. Linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower were the Patriots' best defenders in 2014 and graded highly in run defense. Hightower had surgery in February to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He may miss a good portion of training camp.
Defensive end Chandler Jones struggled through a hip injury, which led to a drop in his sack production (six in 2014; 11.5 in 2013). New England played the last half of the season without middle linebacker Jerod Mayo, who tore the patellar tendon in his right knee in October.
New England's pass defense was only league average in passing yards allowed (3,837) even with Revis on the roster. They had 40 sacks (13th) and 16 interceptions (12th).
This defense has four plus players: Collins, Jones, Hightower and safety Devin McCourty. I expect Brown to be an asset up front. This defense's success will hinge on the new additions brought in through the draft and free agency. In a way, the Patriots underachieved last year with Revis on the roster. I have a feeling they will play better up front and continue to get solid linebacker play. Their cornerbacks are the big mystery.
2015 Mock Draft Results
August 5th, 2015
|16.01||Team Ritchie - 504|
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