FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots running back Fred Taylor has established a Hall of Fame-caliber resume by making defensive players miss tackles. Just ask Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud, who misjudged Taylor so badly last month that he got lit up by his own teammate and allowed Taylor to score a 28-yard touchdown.
Taylor is 15th all time with 11,540 rushing yards, which means there are plenty of guys like DeCoud who have been on the wrong side of many of Taylor's highlights. That’s why Taylor has actually grown to appreciate teams that play good run defense — such as the Bengals, who visit New England on Sunday and finished seventh in that category in 2009.
"It all starts up front in the trenches, the push that the down linemen can get," Taylor said. "Then, from there, the No. 1 thing, which I think is the hardest thing in football, is tackling. You've got to be able to tackle. You can stop them in the backfield, but if you can't bring them down, you're just wasting your time."