Although the Patriots won their last preseason game against the Panthers by a margin of 30-7, Michael Felger believes the defense was the real story.
"I felt the bulk of the Patriots' sacks were coverage sacks," said Felger. "I think it started with Cam Newton not having his guy, bringing the ball down, second look. By that time it's Ninkovich, especially Chandler Jones. I think it started with the coverage."
Tom E. Curran believes the team addressed a big defensive need over the offseason.
"You have to look bad at the AFC Championship game and look at the one statistic that was mentioned so many times," explained Curran. "1.7 seconds, the average amount of time the ball was coming out with Peyton Manning. That's why you had to change your defense. Even if they didn't get Darrelle Revis, they had to change their defense and get into people's faces, because you have to make the ball come out quicker."
After a strong performance thus far and an emphasis on pass rushing by the Patriots, is Chandler Jones poised for a breakout year?
"I projected him maybe a week or two ago, 14 sacks," said Jeff Howe. "I might have underestimated that number by the way he looked the other night."