New England Patriots Defense: Is It Deep Enough in 2014?
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Sealver Siliga (96) won’t be on the field with Vince Wilfork (75) as Siliga was placed on short-term injured reserve on Saturday.

While the offense has struggled in 2014, the defense is off to a great start. After three games the New Englad Patriots are third in yards allowed (272.7), first in passing yards allowed (168.7) and fifth in points per game (16.3).

Injuries haven’t affected the defense’s performance so far. Linebacker Jamie Collins didn’t play against the Minnesota Vikings, and New England allowed just one touchdown on Minnesota’s first offensive possession. Not even defensive lineman Sealver Siliga‘s early exit against the Oakland Raiders hurt the unit.

New England hasn’t allowed a touchdown in seven straight quarters. Maintaining that streak will be tough if injuries begin piling up.

Injuries crippled a defense that exhibited occasional dominance early last year, as defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly and linebacker Jerod Mayo all finished the season on injured reserve. The losses gutted the defense up the middle, and New England’s run defense finished last in the NFL.

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Chris Jones (94) is a threat rushing the passer but needs to improve at stopping the run.

It took weeks of trial and error before New England found adequate help to fortify the interior line. Joe Vellano couldn’t hold down the starting job. The Patriots gave the Philadelphia Eagles a fifth-round pick for Isaac Sopoaga and quickly learned why the Eagles were willing to part ways with Sopoaga. Chris Jones could rush the passer, but he struggled against the run.

Siliga was signed off the Seattle Seahawks‘ practice squad on October 23. He started the last four regular-season games and two playoff games.

And the …read more