Patriots: 10 long-term positives from 2015

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Patrick Chung Patriots
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2. Aggressive safety play from Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty

Much of the reason the Patriots ranked a stalwart ninth against the run in 2015 was because of their starting safeties. Chung and McCourty regularly attacked runs before the ball carrier could get to the second level.

As evidenced by his 85 tackles (second on the team behind Collins) and three tackles for loss, Chung was no stranger to opposing running backs. The Oregon product often delivered the finishing blow, stopping ball carriers in their tracks. Chung could also be found in sticky coverage on opposing tight ends; his coverage abilities is leaps and bounds better than it was during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013.

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McCourty also proved that he’s more than just a safety blanket against the deep pass, registering a sack on his stat sheet. The Patriots are extremely fortunate that they held off the Jacksonville Jaguars in a bidding war for McCourty’s services in the 2015 free agency frenzy, as he should be one of the league’s best free safeties for the rest of the decade at least.

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