Through three weeks of the regular season, New England's defense is last in the NFL in total yardage and passing yardage, 27th in points allowed, 25th in third-down percentage and 31st in first downs allowed.
Some of the stats might be skewed, but the bottom line is the Patriots know the defense hasn't been acceptable through portions of their three games. They understand they've got to match their performance with their talent level.
Patriots defensive captain Jerod Mayo was asked Thursday if the statistics provided a fair representation of the on-field product.
"I think we have great players on our defense," Mayo said. "At the same time, we have to go out and prove it on Sundays. Up to this point, we really haven't done that. The numbers are what they are. We have to go out and try to change those numbers. No matter how good you think you are, the numbers don't lie."