In the Batman movies Gotham City would shine the bat signal into the night sky when they needed the help of Batman. Its kinda like that for New England. The defense is shining the bat signal into the sky needing the help of newly acquired cornerback Aqib Talib. Will Talib be the Patriots own personal Batman and save the Patriots from impending doom like Batman does for Gotham City? That question will be answered in the coming weeks. This weekend vs the Colts will give the Patriots a good idea how much of an impact Talib will make. The impact of Talib if he lives up to his talent will make a difference for the defense. He can bring a lot to this defense in the pass rushing game and passing game.
Pass Rushing: He will allow New England to change defensive schemes and stop trying to get pass rush from only four linemen. New England should be able to bring exotic blitzes more like they did in their win against the Rams. The Patriots front seven have been much better when blitzing and that can help right the ship. Lets face it in this new age throwing pro offense league of the NFL if you don’t sack the QB your defense will give up yards.
Linebackers: Linebackers covering has been a core problem. Maybe the move will allow New England to keep Spikes on the bench only on third downs and Mayo, Hightower blitzing in passing situations and third downs especially and not having them drop into coverage at all. They can bring in Cole or Arrington to cover the middle of the field against a running back or tight end instead of the linebackers. The linebackers are just as bad as the secondary in covering. They are ranked 26th in the league defending against tight ends. The less they cover the better off the Patriots are. They do everything else right though. Mayo and Hightower can pass rush and stop the run. Spikes is one of the best run stopping linebacker in the NFL. None of them can cover however and shouldn’t be asked to anymore. Think about having Cunningham, Wilfork, Ninkovich, and Jones rushing the QB with Hightower and Mayo. That makes me excited cause we know them blitzing and rushing the QB could do wonders for a lack luster pass rush.
Secondary: This is the area most needed to improve. Talib is a great cover corner. He will get burn sometimes but he is the best cover corner the Patriots will have. He can play press cover as well as anybody. He is a play maker. This will allow New England to keep McCourty at safety which is where he belongs. McCourty had another good game at the safety position against the Bills. Making two huge plays and being excellent in coverage from the safety spot. One player can make a difference on the secondary and two makes it an even bigger difference. McCourty in safety playing at the high level he has been with Talib if he plays to his talent level will vastly improve the defense. The Patriots can have Dennard opposite Talib. They can give safety help to the corner opposite Talib which will help that corner’s play. Rumor has it for the Colts game the Patriots will do just that. They are rumor to have Dennard and McCourty covering the top wide out for the Colts that being Reggie Wayne and have Talib in man coverage against their number two T.Y Hilton most likely. I expect this to be better for the Patriots in the long run. Aqib “Batman” Talib should give this defense a much needed boost. I think Talib will be all that and then some on the defense.
Will New England’s bat signal be answered or will the Patriots defense fall victim to the leagues best jokers on offense.