McCourty on Bills: Doesn't get any easier
September, 22, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After drawing some tough assignments over the first two weeks of the season, Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty's reward in Week 3 is a meeting with the NFL's top scoring offense.
AP Photo/Rick OsentoskiDevin McCourty said it won't get any easier in Week 3 vs. Buffalo.
The Bills might not have the same individual star power -- at least compared to the likes of Miami's Brandon Marshall or San Diego's Vincent Jackson -- but they make up for it in quantity of available targets.
"Buffalo spreads the ball around, you talk about [David] Nelson, [Steve] Johnson, and also Donald Jones is playing well," said McCourty. "Even with Roscoe Parrish down, they have a bunch of capable wide receives. It doesn't get any easier, week by week."
Despite earning Pro Bowl honors in his rookie season, McCourty has been targeted 25 times over the first two weeks, allowing 274 yards on 15 receptions, including a pair of touchdowns last week against San Diego, according to stats logged by analytical site Pro Football Focus. Those numbers mask how well McCourty has played overall, but he knows there's room for improvement in the secondary.
And he said Sunday it starts with ignoring the Patriots' recent history of success against Buffalo. McCourty noted the Bills are playing with a lot of confidence -- confidence generated through solid performances to start the 2011 season -- and the Patriots have to be ready for the challenge.
New England's defense has allowed 381 passing yards per game -- second worst in the NFL -- and are battling mounting injuries. Regardless, McCourty thinks the early season mistakes are fixable.
"There's a bunch of minor [errors] that we've made," he said, noting the team still must address them before they become major problems. "We have to continue to fix them."