Last year was the exact same story with our defense (and last year wasn't the first time it followed this trend, either). The first half of the year, the defense looked absolutely horrible, then the second half they were pretty good, which was mostly dictated by the coaches opening up the defensive playbook. We were playing ultra vanilla at the beginning of last year, too. Pass Defense through 5 games: 2010: 132/187, 1417 yds, 70.6% comp, 11 TD, 7 INT, 10 Sack, 96.5 opponent PR, 23.2 PAPG 2011: 127/194, 1633 yds, 65.5% comp, 9 TD, 7 INT, 8 Sack, 93.0 opponent PR, 23.8 PAPG 2010 pass defense, first half vs. second half: 1st Half 206/294, 2222 yds, 70.1% comp, 13 TD, 9 INT, 13 sack, 93.9 opponent PR, 23.5 PAPG 182/317, 2112 yds, 57.4% comp, 12 TD, 16 INT, 22 sack, 69.3 opponent PR, 15.6 PAPG Right now the pass defense looks almost identical to the same point last year (and we've played a slightly tougher offensive schedule this year). Now, notice how much better the Pass D got in the second half of last year. I don't know what it is with Belichick, but its a philosophical thing with him. I don't know if he wants the team to get the fundamentals tied down before he really starts unleashing all the crazy looks, or what, but this has been a pretty consistent trend now*. At this point I fully expect our defense to make a huge improvement in the second half, mainly due to adding in more complex schemes. This team has the personnel to be a top defense, it should be better than last year. When the new additions get up to speed and Belichick starts unleashing the hounds, I think we're going to see something pretty damn good out there. *2005 is fun to look at. In games 4-11 we allowed at least 394 yards in every games, with an average of 424 yapg. In games 12-15 we allowed 183 or less in every game, with an average of 164 yapg. IIRC, I heard a stat that year that games 4-11 were the most yds allowed over an 8 game stretch in NFL history and games 12-15 were the least yds allowed over a 4 games stretch in NFL history.