2019 feels like 10 years ago.
Yep. He is right there with Seymour IMO.Wilfork is the greatest DL in the history of the Patriots. He was double teamed his entire career, and until his Achilles injury I never came away from a game believing he had played poorly. He just dominated week in and week out.
Looking at the numbers, this is so true. To a much higher degree than I had in memory. Looking at the top-5 in pressures in 2019 and 2021 per PFR:Looking back at 2019, we had our best secondary since 2003, a group that was just a notch below historically good. The rest of the defense was smoke and mirrors. Rather than being used as the versatile chess pieces they are best suited to be, Hightower, KVN and Collins were relied upon to supply the pass rush. Edge setting and midfield coverage were sacrificed, but a weak early schedule disguised those deficiencies. Thus the thrashings at the hands of Baltimore, Houston and Tennessee.
This is where stats are extremely limited. The 2019 team came out as a unit, flying around the field. This one was confused and trying to figure it out for the first few weeks.Tale of the tape:
2019 Boogeymen (all through 16 games):
225 points allowed
4.7 yards per play allowed
4.2 yards per rush allowed
5.0 net yards per pass allowed
Passer Rating allowed: 62.8
Tackles for loss: 58
2021 defense through 10 weeks (projected to 16 games):
177 points allowed through 11 weeks (257)
5.1 yards per play allowed
4.1 yards per rush allowed
5.7 net yards per pass allowed
Sacks: 28 (45)
Hurries: 51 (82)
Pressures: 111 (177)
QB Hits: 68 (109)
Passer Rating allowed: 71.2
Tackles for loss: 45 (72)
Takeaways: 21 (34)
edit: my bad, PFR does not update their stats for TNF until the following week so I updated this to reflect 10 games not 11. Except for the points, we already know it's 177 through 11 weeks.
Keeping in mind that the defense this year has already faced Dak and a much better Cowboys team than the 2019 team faced plus Brady, Mayfield, Ryan, Herbert. The 2019 Pats at least in the first half were not exactly facing top notch QB competition.
2019 defense was good, but I think this defense is way better suited for a physical game.
Still have doubts about the secondary... Switching to zone has helped mask their deficiencies.