Patriots close out 2010 with solid 3rd down defense improvement
Mike Dussault, patspropaganda.com
As you’re probably aware I’ve been harping on third down being the key for success this season. That’s because the Patriots defense has demonstrated that they’re good tacklers and don’t give up a lot of big plays. Most of the time they’re winning on first and second down, so it’s just a matter of winning third down, getting off the field and letting the offense do what it does best.
While the Patriots will finish as last in the NFL by allowing a first down on 47.1% on the third downs they’ve faced, things have been remarkably better in the last five games of the season:
- Jets 3/12 = 25%
- Bears 3/8 = 37%
- Packers 11/19 = 57%
- Bills 3/10 = 30%
- Dolphins 4/13 = 30%
So for the last five games, nearly a third of the season the Pats have been performing at a 38.7% clip on 3rd down. This would rank in the top half of the NFL.
These numbers having me believe that coupled with all the turnovers they get this is absolutely a defense that is capable of winning a Super Bowl.