3. Tackle, tackle, tackle
One key to the defensive struggles was the lack of tackling and this includes attempts at a tackle and finishing off tackles. These are errors that you would not expect from a Bill Belichick-coached defense, as the basics are something he demands out of his players.
Some of these missed tackles or broken tackles happened to Hightower, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Kyle Van Noy. All of these players are very good players and ones that Bill raves about, which is why some have been captains and others have been vital to the last two Super Bowl championships.
It took one week but New England tweaked some things and really worked on their tackling. Hightower played well in run defense including a couple of tackles for loss against the Dolphins running backs.
Even the defensive backs kept Miami’s receivers from racking up the YAC (yards after catch) which was a problem against the Lions. Elandon Roberts, Adam Butler and Jones improved from a week ago and sparked this defense to return to dominant form.