Do You Think the Patriots’ Defense Will Be Better Than Expected This Season?

Do You Think the Patriots' Defense Will Be Better Than Expected This Season? The Patriots defense passed its first test of the season by stopping Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, Cedric Benson and the rest of the Cincinnati Bengals' offense in the season opener.

Arguably the team's biggest area of concern heading into the regular season, the Pats' secondary held Palmer and his targets at bay in the first half by limiting Palmer and the Bengals to just one field goal before halftime.

Cincy's running game wasn't much better, as the team managed fewer net rushing yards (30) than total plays (33) in the half thanks to New England's front seven led by Tully Banta-Cain, Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork, who combined for 10 first-half tackles.

In the second half, the Bengals picked things up and put 21 points on the board thanks mostly in part to wideouts Ochcocinco's (159 yards) and Jordan Shipley's (82 yards) work on young cornerbacks Devin McCourty and Darius Butler.

While the loss of both Leigh Bodden and Ty Warren may one day prove to be too much for the Pats' defense to handle down the stretch, many believe that the unit looked stronger than expected in the team's first test of the campaign.

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