Inside The Bills

Pats 3rd down ‘D’ struggling

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2010 – 11:44 am

The Patriots third down defense was already the worst in football going into their game with Green Bay last Sunday, and it only looks worse after escaping with a 31-27 win.

New England allowed the Packers with Matt Flynn at quarterback to convert 11-19 third down opportunities (57.8%), including two for touchdowns as well as a 3rd-and-10 conversion that led to a touchdown on the very next play.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t have a whole lot to offer on the subject as to what’s ailing them.

“I’d say it was a combination of things. At times we didn’t tackle well, didn’t cover well, didn’t have enough rush or the combination of those things all going together,” Belichick said. “We just need to do a better job all the way around: coaching, playing, and overall execution. We just have to be more consistent.

“At times it was fine, but at other times we didn’t do well and we gave them opportunities that, really, I think we should have been able to convert on but we didn’t, so they did it better than we did. We’ve just got to work harder and do a better job on it.”

The Pats are allowing opponents to convert on third down almost half the time (49.2%). Buffalo’s third down defense hasn’t been great either (27th), but Sunday could prove to be another high-scoring affair like the Week 3 tilt, which finished 38-30.


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