The New England Patriots may be 25th in the NFL in pass defense, giving up 281.5 passing yards per game, but they are very opportunistic. Their defense is ranked 4th in interceptions (6), and it’s how they got back in the game against the Buffalo Bills in week four when they were down 21-7 in the third quarter.
The Patriots came up with four interceptions in the game, including two by Devin McCourty.
As the Patriots prepare to play the Broncos this week, McCourty told the media that playing against a quarterback like Tom Brady in practice every day helps on game day.
“I think what happens when you’re stressed every day in practice by the quarterback on your own team then it’s not unusual to face that same type of stress in the ball game,” Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said. “The guy’s intelligent. He’s seen things, he’s seen it before, he can get you out of a bad play, into a good play and things like that. Know where your weaknesses are, and have the accuracy and intelligence to get the plays and make those plays. I think certainly practicing against Peyton (Manning) every day gives us a chance to be sharper in those situations where we go up against that top-notch quarterback.”
The Broncos’ secondary will face their toughest task to date, at least since last January when the Patriots put up 45 points, and each practice against Manning can only prepare them better for this week’s game.