By my (obviously subjective) view, about 25% of the minutes for Pats games this year occurred after the game had already been decided...meaning there was a chance for a comeback but it was highly improbable. During these non-competitive minutes, the Pats D gave up 35% of their total yards (they still rank 3rd) and 38% of their total points (they still rank 9th). I don't know how you can effectively evaluate the Pats D when at least 25% of the data is "tainted". Do you think Belichick is going to put anything on the field (and on tape) that would be useful for future opponents during these times? Besides the Dallas game (21 points against the D), the Pats gave up 7, 7, 7, 10, 10 and 7 points in the other games up to the point where the outcome was no longer is serious doubt. So in my view, I don't think you can draw very many rock-solid conclusions about the Pats D except: 1) They are effective (7 blowout wins) 2) They get too many penalties (think they are bottom 10 in the league) Clean up the penalties and get Seymour back at 100%. Other than that, I'm not sure I'm ready to judge the D one way or the other. Hopefully the upcoming opponents aren't able to effectively gauge them either.