I just went back and looked at the Patriots worst defensive performance of the year, the early-season mauling by the Bills. Something that really leapt out at me was the defensive backs who played the most snaps in that game: S Josh Barrett â€“ 66 of 66 snaps S Sergio Brown â€“ 66 of 66 snaps CB Devin McCourty â€“ 65 of 66 snaps CB Leigh Bodden â€“ 60 of 66 snaps Only one of those players took a single snap on defense against Denver, and he spent half the time playing a different position! (For visiting Ravens fans: Barrett went on IR soon after, Bodden was released soon after, Brown is back on special teams where he belongs, and McCourty has been playing deep safety in passing situations the past two weeks.) IMO all of the endless statistical debates ("Yards!" "Points!" "Yards!" "Points!") miss the essential point: This is literally not the same defense that put up those numbers. The personnel churning we've seen looks more like separate seasons, and the current lineup with Spikes, Chung, Fletcher, Moore etc. (and NOT Andre Carter) has only played two games. That's not to say that the results against Denver prove a great deal, just that all of the talk about "the Patriots defense" isn't really talking about the team that will take the field on Sunday. I honestly don't know how good this defense is, but I have to believe it will be a couple of cuts above the Sergio Brown/Gary Guyton/Matthew Slater editions we watched earlier in the year.