New England Patriots: Five Takeaways From Impressive Showing Versus Panthers

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Aug 22, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) covers Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

3. Without three key starters, defense dominates

As I mentioned earlier, as great as Tom Brady’s offense was yesterday, the Pats defense was just as good. The Panthers couldn’t do anything against Bill Belichick’s first string unit, as they scored zero points, amassed 101 total yards, and gave up three sacks in just over one half of football.

And New England did all of this without Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, and Brandon Browner on the field. To be perfectly honest, I thought the group that did play looked like a top three defense. But when you throw Mayo, Hightower, and Browner back into the mix? Forget about it.

This group looked good on paper, but they look even better out there on the playing field. Led by Darrelle Revis, the secondary shut down everything Carolina threw at them, which led to a great outing for Chandler Jones and the front four. Not to mention the stout run defense, which surprisingly fared just fine without Mayo and Hightower in the lineup. And the best part about all of this, is they will only get better as the season goes on (barring any big injuries).

Get ready, folks. This defense is going to be scary.