Lack of pressure hurts defense

October, 11, 2009
10/11/09
8:39
PM ET

ANALYSIS

For the first time this season, the Patriots lost the time of possession battle. The Broncos had the ball 36:29, while the Patriots had it 28:22.

A 5 of 13 performance by the offense on third down contributed to the statistic, as the Patriots were 0 of 7 in the second half. The Broncos have held opponents to a combined 2 of 31 on third down in the second half of games this season.

"We left our defense out to dry," quarterback Tom Brady said. "They were on the field too long. Any time you do that against a good offense, they are going to move the ball, just because your defense gets worn down. It wasn't a very good complementary game by us."

On the other side of the ball, the Patriots struggled to rush the passer out of the standard four-man rush. They needed more out of edge rushers Tully Banta-Cain and Derrick Burgess in this game, while there wasn't consistent push up the middle from inside rushers Jarvis Green, Mike Wright and Myron Pryor in sub packages.

Through four games, the defense has been praised as an unsung unit and it played well enough Sunday to win.

But the lack of pressure generated from the four-man rush is hurting them.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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