The New England Patriots' defense is underrated - NFL - ESPN Decent read, although not much that we haven't heard about from Pats statheads all year. If you don't have ESPN insider, I'll summarize: -Joyner points out the obvious fact that yards allowed are often not the most indicative stats. He also notes, though, though that the Pats are near the last in yards per play -Pats ranked 15th in points allowed, but had they allowed just one less point per game, they would have been top 10. -Joyner looks at some advanced stats and notices that although they get a lot of sacks and interceptions, the interceptions were not often the result of bad quarterback decisions. Rather, they were forced by an opportunistic defense. Joyner seems to speculate that Belichick has not opened up a lot of creative gameplanning to fool opposing QBs. Not sure if that means there is still more up Bill's sleeve, or if he just thinks it's not a good idea with this defense. -Also notes that the Pats intercept the ball about 65% of the time when they have an opportunity to do so. 50% is considered very good, so he suggests that Belichick emphasize capitalizing on interceptions more than anything else. -Although the Pats have allowed the most 20+ yard plays in the NFL, they have not allowed many 40+ yard plays. So, while they give up a lot of big plays, they don't give up many huge, gamebreaking plays. (I can't remember many besides the Eagles, Bills, and Giants game.) -The part that's disappointing about this article is Joyner didn't really look at any individual players or packages. He just looked at the overall team unit in terms of results.