5 things New England Patriots must improve on

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Patriots: 5 areas of improvement

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

For just the fifth time since the 2003 season, the New England Patriots are bearing a losing streak. The loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13 was the most mistake-prone and sleepy Patriots performance since the Kansas City Chiefs loss back in Week 4 of last season. Now that it’s been two disappointing outcomes in a row, several worrying patterns are emerging about this Patriots team in its current form. Here are five areas in which the Patriots must improve this Sunday night against the Houston Texans:

5. Intercepting the ball

At first glance, the Patriots’ 10 interceptions don’t look that bad, ranking smack in the middle of the pack. But when you dig a little deeper, you will see that the defensive backs aren’t holding up their end of the bargain these days.

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The last time a cornerback or a safety corralled an interception was over a month ago, when Logan Ryan took advantage of an errant Kirk Cousins throw in the win over the Washington Redskins. Since then, only Chandler Jones has gotten his hands on the ball.

In addition, the Patriots are one of just six teams out of the 32 that have yet to take an interception back for a touchdown. The Pats could really use a big play out of a defensive back to help take the load off the struggling offense.

Next: 4. Run defense