Steelers Hines Ward is Right- New England Secondary is AWFUL


It’s not that the New England Patriots secondary is the worst in NFL history- I still think it’s a tie between the 1995 Atlanta Falcons (after Deion $anders and Tim McKyer left, D.J. Johnson was their “best” DB) and the 2010 Houston Texans (you and I could have burned them for a TD…if we had a good QB getting us the ball).

It’s that the Patriots have the worst pass defense in the NFL this season, and they have quite possibly the worst secondary in the history of “really good NFL teams.” Think about that- what NFL team that routinely appears in the top 5 of many power rankings is also DEAD LAST (as the Pats are in passing yards allowed per game) in one of the four major statistical categories (passing, rushing, rush defense, pass defense).

Opponents routinely do to New England what British redcoats tried to do it in the 1770s- destroy it!

Here’s what Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward told a reporter this week:

“I probably could have forced it and played but we have some great wideouts,” Ward said. “I wasn’t really concerned. And against the Patriots, we felt we could exploit their secondary. That wasn’t the same secondary that we played against a year ago. [James] Sanders, [Brandon] Meriweather wasn’t back there and they let Leigh Bodden go. We kind of liked our matchups. So there was no need for me to try to force it and go.”

Very easy to trash talk like that after the fact. Then again, he’s right.  The Patriots surrender 323 passing yards per game. Six of their seven opponents have put up 3 bills on them. They surrendered 329 yards to Pittsburgh on Sunday, with Heath Miller and Mike Wallace combining for 14 catches and 155 yards.

And attrition is the main reason. Sanders, Meriweather, were cut. Brandon is an uncontrollable sadistic psycho, so I get that move, but still why cut the other two? Why leave yourself razor thin in depth at a position where you’re rather stretched to even begin with? It doesn’t help that the promising rookie from Virginia Ras-I Dowling is out with injury.

The Patriots played last week with two nickel corners Antwaun Molden and Phillip Adams with extremely limited NFL experience in terms of defensive snaps. Kyle Arrington isn’t exactly an upgrade at CB. Devin McCourty had a great rookie season, but he isn’t exactly taking another step forward this year.

And they think Patrick Chung could be a star someday, but in the end, Ward is just saying what anyone watching football was thinking.

It’s not all the DBs fault- where’s the pass rush? It hasn’t been much better than last year; And last year was terrible. It’s also true that a lot of those yardage comes when the opposition is behind, and has no hcoice but to pass. The Patriots are 5-2 and have spent most of the season with a lead.

But in the end, you can’t be a Super Bowl team with a weakness, any weakness, this glaring. You can run, and you can pass, but you can’t hide- not with that anything-but-Fab Four back there.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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