BOSTON (CBS) – 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones has been criticized by Patriots fans recently for his long list of negative takes about the team, but on Tuesday night he provided a bit of good news that fans in this region should feel positive about.
The Patriots defense is not a unit that would ever be confused for the ’85 Bears, but it’s a group of players performing well — especially considering the loss of captain and signal caller Jerod Mayo to injury.
The offense hasn’t been perfect by any means, but in recent postseason heartbreaks it’s been the defense that’s let them down.
The good news is what’s plagued the Patriots defense in those losses will no longer be their Achilles heel.
Adam Jones explains.
“The Patriots defense has typically been in the top of the league in the regular season in terms of takeaways and in terms of that plus-minus, that turnover differential. This year is no different. They sit there right now with the best positive turnover differential in the league with +12. They’ve forced 18 turnovers, which is tied for fifth,” said Jones. “Then they get into these playoff games and have trouble forcing turnovers. In 2010 they forced zero against the Jets. In 2011 they forced zero against the Giants. In 2012 in the AFC Championship game in Foxboro they forced zero against the Ravens. And then last year they forced zero against the Broncos.”
But Jones we already knew that. How is this year any different than previous years?
“Can the turnovers keep happening for the Patriots? Or are they gonna dry up? I looked at the numbers and the conclusion I came to is that I don’t know if they need ’em. I don’t know that this defense needs to rely on turnovers as much as they have in past years. I think the turnovers sort of masked the deficiencies they had talent-wise.”
So what’s changed?
“I think they have enough talent in that secondary, and provided they stay healthy I’m not sure you need to keep forcing turnovers with this defense. If you play it straight up the turnovers will come. They’re good enough to limit teams in other ways. They can limit the passing yards, they can limit the scoring and they can legitimately shut down some high-powered attacks like they did against Denver.”
“I just don’t think they’re as reliant on turnovers because I think they’re a better, more talented defense than they’ve been in the past. And that’s good news.”
Do you agree with Jones’ assessment?
Listen below for the full segment!
Also on Tuesday night, Adam Jones checked in with Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal to discuss all things NFL.
– Which team has been the most impressive?
– Why is Seattle struggling this season?
– Which team has squandered their talent the most?
– Are the Cardinals a legit Super Bowl contender?
All that and much more.
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