New England Patriots Playing Undisciplined Defense and Other AFC East News

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer INovember 13, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 11: Donald Jones #19 of the Buffalo Bills comes up short on a pass as Marquice Cole #23 of the New England Patriots defends in the second half  at Gillette Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The New England Patriots defense usually looks better in December than it does in September.

Well, they didn't get off to a very good start to November, and now have 17 days before the final month of the season to get it right.

The Patriots allowed five pass plays of 20 yards or more on Sunday, but didn't give up any long balls through the air. Those big plays came mainly on catch-and-runs. The lack of discipline found other ways to rear its ugly head, though.

In a recent chat on, analyst and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi pointed to a lack of discipline as the key in two of Buffalo's scores.

One of the biggest things that bothered me about this game were the coverage busts in the red area. There were two uncontested TDs by the Buffalo Bills — to Scott Chandler and Donald Jones. Both touchdowns were a result of a lack of communication. The Buffalo Bills formed offensive sets that put their receivers in close proximity that caused traffic problems and forced communication. The proper adjustments are not being communicated. Uncontested TDs are a sign of an undisciplined defense.

Discipline may be the overriding theme this year for Bill Belichick's bunch. They've given up a league-high 47 pass plays of 20 yards or more, on pace for around 83-84, which would surpass last year's mark by at least four. Many of those big plays have come as a result of defenders being caught out of position.

Bringing in cornerback Aqib Talib won't fix all the ails of the secondary, but can it get much worse at this point?

Here's some more news and analysis from around the AFC East.


New York Jets

Neil Best of Newsday says if now isn't the time to start Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, that time may never come.

Joe Caporoso of calls the Jets offense a failure from top to bottom, and calls for a complete makeover.

According to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll thinks the Jets experimenting with Tebow is hurting their starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez.


Buffalo Bills

Tim Graham of The Buffalo News points out that Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is 5-21 in fourth-quarter comeback situations.

Graham also wonders why the Bills don't use running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller together.

Chris Brown of writes that Bills wide receiver Donald Jones is beginning to emerge.


Miami Dolphins

John Congemi of lists his five biggest takeaways from the Dolphins' Week 10 loss to the Titans.

Bleacher Report Dolphins featured columnist Scott Altman breaks down the Dolphins' biggest flaws in a postseason push.

Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that head coach Joe Philbin's benching of running back Reggie Bush raises questions about his approach.


New England Patriots

B/R Patriots featured columnist Mike Dussault breaks down the Patriots reliance on turnovers.

Field Yates of ESPN Boston gives a preview of the Indianapolis Colts, looking at key players on offense and defense while recapping the team's season to date.

Christopher Price of goes over the targets and receptions for Patriots skill-position players on the season.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.