Patriots try to bend and not break

03 February 2018 02:40:52 GMTPlus11

The New England Patriots allowed the fourth worst number of yards this season with a defence that, despite this, was ranked fifth in points conceded.

Only the Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers conceded more yards than New England, a significant change from last season when the Patriots were eighth in the league behind the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens.

Interestingly New England was first in points allowed during the regular campaign last season before winning the Super Bowl over the Atlanta Falcons at the NRG Stadium in Houston.

The very epitome of a bend but not break philosophy, the Patriots were lit up by opposing offenses on a consistent basis.

New England was terrible against the pass while, frankly, not much better against the run ranking 29th and 20th respectively.

Certainly some of the yardage can be attributed to teams trying to play catch up with the Patriots offense, but if there is a weakness in New England, it is on the defensive side of the ball.

The defensive backfield of Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty will be unsure of what they face in Nick Foles.

The back up quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles has bounced about the league for the past few years, but made the Pro Bowl back in 2013.

Foles did not put a foot wrong in the 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game and a repeat performance would make things very interesting.

The Patriots are 2.00 to win the Super Bowl with the Eagles priced at 2.00.

Foles is 2.00 to score a touchdown in the game.

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