Defense prepared to win games for Patriots

Defense prepared to win games for Patriots
September 13, 2013, 1:00 pm
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FOXBORO – Win a game when the offense is in the teens. That was a mini-Everest for the New England Patriots.
 
If Tom Brady and the Patriots weren’t scoring in the 20s, the Patriots weren’t winning. Well, the Patriots won a game in which the offense scored just 13 on Thursday night. And it may have to happen a lot more as the Patriots young receivers struggle to get their legs under them.

“We welcome that,” said Rob Ninkovich when asked about carrying the weight for a while.” I think as a defense now, we're a tight unit that's been together for a while now. We know that this year, whatever situation we're in, it might have to be the defense that's going to win the game for us and we welcome that. A 13-10 win sounds good to me. I'm happy that we won the game, and I'm happy that the defense played well. We had those four big turnovers that were nice. We could have had a couple more if we had got on the ball. Beating the Jets at home -- great feeling.”
 
There are caveats and disclaimers attached to the work of the Patriots defense. Went against rookie quarterbacks in each of the first two games. Didn’t face a top-tier wideout or tight end. The Jets couldn’t score 20 if you gave them the keys to the stadium and let them play against air all afternoon.
 
The challenges will come. Back-to-back-to-back against the Bengals, Falcons and Saints bearing down on them. But through two games, they’ve got the backs of the Patriots offense.
 
And they aren’t worried about what happens when they’re not on the field. Vince Wilfork has done the slow burn Tom Brady did on Thursday night. Many times in the past few years defensive teammates ran around like chipmunks in traffic and Wilfork was left to wonder what the hell was going on around him. Wilfork got through it. He has no doubt Brady will.
 
“Tom been around the game for a while,” Wilfork pointed out. “He knows how to handle the situation he’s in. There’s one thing to make very clear, these guys work their tails off. Old guys, young guys, when we’re here, we work. It’s not a lack of effort. It’s just getting the confidence and being able to make those plays.
 
“Once guys start developing and get more experience playing I think you’ll start seeing a different ballclub,” added Wilfork. “That’s all 32 teams in the league. It’s the beginning of the season. It’s not gonna be perfect. It’s not gonna be how you draw it up. You have to get through it, make corrections and move forward.”