Discussing the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots, Part One
This weekend, the Indianapolis Colts travel to renew their rivalry with the New England Patriots. I got in touch with Joe Soriano, editor of the New England Patriots website, www.musketfire.com, to discuss his opinions about the upcoming battle.
Naptown’s Finest – What is you current opinion of the Patriots so far?
Musket Fire– It’s been a disappointing year so far, largely because of the flaws on pass defense. A lot of people want to point the finger at the entire secondary, but that isn’t actually the case. Kyle Arrington and Sterling Moore are the only cornerbacks who have struggled this season, and Moore isn’t even on the roster anymore. Arrington has been downright awful, but Devin McCourty has been one of the best CBs in the league again and Alfonzo Dennard has been a revelation as a rookie. The problem is that a lot of guys have been injured, as safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory have been out for a significant chunk of time this season. Tavon Wilson has been great for a rookie at the safety position, but Chung and Gregory get burned deep to often when they are healthy. To me, the biggest problem on pass defense is the fact that the linebackers are poor in pass protection. Brandon Spikes and Dont’a Hightower are two of the worst LBs in coverage, and they allow tight ends to eat them up.
The pass rush has actually been worse than it was last season, largely because there isn’t a good threat next to Chandler Jones. I love Rob Ninkovich’s work in run defense and think it has been one of the best in the NFL this season, but he is an awful pass rusher.
The Patriots offense has been terrific and balanced, and the offensive line has been among the best in the NFL. The run defense is shutting everyone down, but the Patriots secondary needs to step up. They are healthier and now have Aqib Talib in the fold, so this team is going to start getting scary again. They are 6-3, and that record includes three losses that were decided by game-winning scores (one win was as well). The Pats haven’t been at their best this year, and last week’s narrow win against the Bills shows it. This team is still the 2nd best in the AFC behind the Houston Texans, but they aren’t as consistent as they should be.
NF – Tom Brady never seems to slow down or fall off, how do you feel about his consistency year after year?
MF – Tom Brady is the most consistent quarterback in NFL history year-to-year, with the exception of Joe Montana. Brady’s easily the most consistent in the NFL today, even if Aaron Rodgers is the better QB at this point in time. No Patriots fan ever feels nervous when the ball is in Brady’s hands.
Stay posted for the remainder of my discussion with Joe Soriano from www.musketfire.com, which will be posted soon.