Defense is not the Patriots strength. They ranked 31st in total defense this season. Part of the problem was injuries. With some of their starters back for the playoffs, they improved. They should be able to handle Ahmad Bradshaw running, but I don’t think that they are fast enough to stop the Giants’ receivers.
Here are the starters and key players on the Patriots defense.
Tackles and Ends
Vince Wilfork (#75, Defensive Tackle) – The only guy who played on defense on the Giants Super Bowl team in 2008.
Kyle Love (#74, Defensive Tackle) - Tough, solid blocker.
Brandon Deaderick (#71, Defensive End) - Began starting when Andre Carter was injured.
Mark Anderson (#95 Defensive End) - Veteran player and the best pass-rusher on the team
Jerod Mayo (#51 Outside Linebacker) – Playing well Patriots -- He quietly is having one of his best seasons as the team has used more 4-3 defense, which seems to suit him better.
Brandon Spikes (#55 Middle Linebacker) – Was out early in the season because of an injury.
Rob Ninkovich (#55 Outside Linbacker) - Patriots -- He is a typical Patriots player: A tough, hard-nosed player who plays hard all the time.
Devin McCourty (#32 Cornerback) – Had a great rookie season last year, but has played average this year.
Kyle Arrington (#24 Cornerback) – Had seven interceptions this season.
Patrick Chung (#25 Safety) – Missed some of the season with injuries.
James Ihedigbo (#44 Safety) – Not really fast, but did get a sack in the AFC championship game.
Ok, tomorrow we will look at their teammates on offense.
Heels & Helmets®