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Carter on Sports Final: Third Down Inefficiency ‘Something We Have To Rectify’

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Patriots defensive end Andre Carter. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Patriots defensive end Andre Carter. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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New England Patriots

BOSTON (CBS) – Defensive end Andre Carter is enjoying his first season in New England.

Coming from the Washington Redskins, the Patriots all-business attitude is a breath of fresh air.

“What I’m getting is a bunch of men, whether offense, defense or special teams, that are just coming here every day and working; grinding 24/7,” the 11-year veteran said. “We’re all in unison. We have this thing ‘leave your ego at the door.’”

So far, Carter is fitting in on an evolving Patriots defense. With a mix of new veterans and young players, there are plenty of ups and downs two games into the season.

The downs are a little less glaring with a 2-0 record, but they certainly are there.

The Patriots have had issues getting off the field at point, and on Sunday gave up three drives of 10 plays or more to San Diego. They came on consecutive drives, one to end the first half and two to start the second, and kept the defense on the field.

Fortunately for New England, two ended in turnovers and only one found the endzone.

“Something we do need to emphasis is getting off the field on long drives,” Carter said Sunday night on WBZ-TV’s Sports Final. “I can’t explain it, I don’t know what’s going on but it’s something we’ve always discussed.”

Andre Carter On WBZ-TV’s Sports Final

“Definitely those long, sustained drives can get tiresome,” he said.

And then there are third downs. The Patriots defense allowed the Chargers to covert on 10 of 12 third downs, giving up 129 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers scored their second touchdown on a third down, pulling within six of the Patriots early in the fourth quarter. The Patriots also committed a penalty on a third down, allowing a drive to continue.

Carter does not know what is wrong, but knows it needs to get fixed.

“I don’t know yet, it’s something that will be discussed as we watch the film, watch it as a group. It’s something we know that we have to fix; something we have to rectify,” he said. “If not, it’s going to be a long game.”

“A wins a win, don’t get me wrong. We’re all celebrating and congratulating each other. But on our side of the ball we got to stop this, we got to nip this in the butt or it’s going to constantly get worse,” said Carter.

Read: Wilfork On 1st Career Pick: “I’m A Well-Conditioned Athlete”

One aspect the defense can take pride in, besides forcing four San Diego turnovers, is their Red Zone defense. The Chargers scored in just two of their four trips inside the 20.

In the second quarter, New England came up with a huge goal-line stand. The Chargers started at the New England five-yard line but could only manage four yards in four plays, and never crossed the goal-line.

“We’ve tried to focus on a lot of areas on our side of the ball. The red zone is something we do take pride of; especially when it boils down to the wire,” said Carter.

Carter has three tackles and .5 sacks in his two games as a Patriot. He registered two tackles Sunday against the Chargers.

Tune in to WBZ-TV’s Sports Final and Sports Final OT every Sunday night at 11:35pm.

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