The Breakdown: Defense, particularly safties, a concern

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The Breakdown: Defense, particularly safties, a concern

Despite the offense running up 52 points, including 45 in the second half, CSNNE Patriots insider Tom E. Curran and SportsNet Central's Mike Giardi are talking defense in their breakdown of the Pats' 52-28 victory over the Bills.

The Pats were trailing 14-7 in the first half and about to go down by 10 or 14 with the Bills knocking on the door for another score when what Curran calls the play that changed the game occurred.

Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes forced a fumble that was recovered by Vince Wilfork and kept the Bills from extending their lead.

The defense made other plays, Curran said, besides that big one. "The Jerrod Mayo pick, the second Devin McCourty pick."

It was a pretty good bounce-back game for McCourty, who drew criticism for his play in a loss to the Ravens last week.

"Those two picks are what you expect from a guy who a first-round pick," Curran said.

The play of the safties, however, continues to be a concern. There were bad angles taken by both Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory on a long touchdown catch and run that put the Bills up 21-7 in the third quarter.

A bright spot in the secondary? The play of rookie Tavon Wilson, who had an interception and a fumble recovery.

Carrabis: Red Sox have nothing to lose calling Moncada up now

Carrabis: Red Sox have nothing to lose calling Moncada up now

Jared Carrabis and Lou Merloni join SNC to discuss the Boston Red Sox calling up top prospect Yoan Moncada, and how they think the Sox should use him.

Red Sox will call up No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada on Friday

Red Sox will call up No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada on Friday

The season-long awaited arrival of Yoan Moncada to Boston has finally come with Wednesday night announcement of the Red Sox’ prospect being called up for Friday.

John Farrell alluded to potentially promoting the 21-year-old in his press conference prior to Wednesday’s game, remarking that the team needed “better production” at third base -- Moncada’s new home.

“The minor league season ends [soon], so is there benefit to him just being here? The answer to that is yes,” Farrell said before Wednesday’s win. “Do you weigh playing 'X' number of games per week versus what he could be doing at Portland or Pawtucket? Well, that goes away [with the minor league regular seasons end].

"So, again, by all accounts, there's nothing but positives that could come out of experience here -- if that were to happen.''

He’ll be formally added Friday as a September call-up, and cannot be added Thursday because Boston has the day off.

Moncada will also be eligible for the playoffs with the call-up, with the Wednesday night midnight deadline not applying because Moncada was already part of Boston’s organization.

Ranked the No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com, Moncada played for both Single-A Salem and, most recently, Double-A Portland this season. In his 44 games with Portland, Moncada hit .285 (49-for-172) with 11 home runs, six doubles, three triples and 27 RBI. Moncada was also 9-for-13 in stolen base attempts for the Seadogs.

"In the cases we've talked about, it has been beneficial to us for the young player to come up. They find a way to contribute in a meaningful role. 

"Without saying that [Moncada's promotion] is a definite, there's a lot [of positives] going for it.''

Moncada joins Andrew Benintendi to get the call to the Red Sox straight from Portland. Prior to Benintendi’s injury, the 22-year-old was batting .324 (22-for-68) with eight extra-base hits.
 
Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter @ngfriar