New England Patriots: Four Takeaways From Win Over Minnesota Vikings

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Sep 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) intercepts a pass during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

1. Defense dominates

I have already talked about this a great deal, but this Patriots’ defensive unit was extremely impressive against Matt Cassel and company. I realize that the Vikings aren’t the 2007 Patriots, but it was still awesome to see the Pats wreak havoc all game long.

For the game, Minnesota totaled only 217 yards of offense, and only 54 on the ground. Last week the Pats really struggled in holding up against the Dolphins’ ground attack, but they were sound today. The tackling was solid, they were disciplined in their gap responsibility, and more importantly, they were energetic. They had some emotion, and enthusiasm. That is where I think this defense is at its best, led by the big guys up front. They set the tone by not getting pushed back off the ball, and that is exactly what they did today.

The pass defense was just as good, as after that initial hiccup on the first drive (thanks to Deontae Skinner), they shut down anything Matt Cassel tried to do to them. Darrelle Revis and company were excellent in coverage (combining to pick off Cassel four times), and the pass rush was ridiculous. Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower each led the way with two sacks each, and Rob Ninkovich and Kyle Arrington pitched in with one apiece.