New England Patriots: 5 Reasons Why They Will Win Super Bowl 51
By Nick Ziegler
3.) Underrated Defense
One of the reasons for the success of the Patriots is because of their defense. While their offense gets most of the attention, the Patriots’ defense has played very well this season. Against the run, the Patriots are ranked third in the NFL in total rushing yards allowed.
Against the pass, the Patriots are ranked 12th in total passing yards allowed. However, the Patriots do rank 8thth in opponent’s quarterback rating. Due to the Patriots playing with a lead often, their defensive statistics against the pass can be a bit skewed.
There is some very good talent on the Patriots’ defense, as they have a strong secondary led by Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty. At the linebacker level, Dont’a Hightower leads that group.
Even though the Patriots traded Jamie Collins in the middle of the season to the Browns, they have performed well. While the Patriots surely miss Collins’ ability to get to opposing quarterbacks, they have done a pretty good job without him.