By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV SportsBy Levan Reid

FOXBORO (CBS) – The New England Patriots secondary has been the focus of a lot of criticism this season, and finally someone stood up and spoke for them.

Thursday in the locker room, nose tackle Vince Wilfork said the defensive backs are not in this alone.  Everyone on the defense has to get better.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

“We all take part of [the criticism],” said Wilfork. “You’re not going to sit back and say, ‘they catch the ball because they’re not covered.’ That’s part on us up front too, not being able to get to the quarterback quick enough. It works hand in hand. It’s not track [and field], where you can go out and throw a shot-put, or run the 100-yard dash and win a medal by yourself. You win together. And the quicker we understand that, the better we’ll be. I think we understand that.”

It’s a unit wide problem right now and even though the Pats are 5-2, where they want to go cannot happen if they don’t fix this.

“One thing we’ve been doing, we just keep working,” said Wilfork. “There are challenges each week and we keep working. We have to work harder, so that’s what we’ll do.”

The defense has just 15 sacks this season, with nine of them coming from Andre Carter and Mark Anderson (they have 4.5 each).

Last season the defense was forcing turnovers while the offense refused to give to ball up, ending the season with a NFL leading +28 in the takeaway/giveaway differential. So far this season, the Pats are only a +2.

The defense will have another tough challenge this weekend against Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

Gresh & Zo Whiteboard: Stopping The Giants Pass-Rush

Tune in to the Patriots-Giants game on 98.5 The Sports Hub Sunday at 4:15pm. Pregame coverage kicks on WBZ-TV at 11:30am with Patriots Gameday, with the Hub’s coverage beginning at 1pm. After the game, tune in to the Hub for the Patriots Postgame show, and to MY TV38 for Patriots Fifth Quarter.

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