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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Patriots face another also-ran QB

By James Walker

The New England Patriots' last-ranked defense is a very lucky group.

New England's weakest unit has had the benefit of facing backup quarterbacks Tyler Palko and Vince Young in recent victories. This week, the Patriots get the backup of the backup in Dan Orlovsky of the Indianapolis Colts (0-11). With Peyton Manning and Kerry Collins out for the season and Curtis Painter benched, Orlovsky is the Colts' fourth option.

New England's pass defense has been awful, but it won't matter this week . Young torched the Patriots for 400 yards passing in last week's 38-20 Patriots win. Although most NFL quarterbacks have had success against the Patriots this season, Orlovsky most likely isn't capable of having a great game.

After Orlovsky, New England's defense faces quarterbacks Rex Grossman of the Washington Redskins and Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos in back-to-back weeks. This three-game stretch should help the Patriots improve their pass-defense numbers, which are the worst in the NFL at 307.5 yards per game.