Over the past decade, the New England Patriots have been known for their offense, not their defense.
During the offseason, New England tried to fix that by adding Darrelle Revis, a three-time All-Pro player. From 2009 to 2011, many considered Revis the best cornerback in the game.
According to ESPN, New England's defense ranked 18th in passing yards per game last season. To make matters worse, they lost their best defensive player, Aqib Talib, in free agency. At times, Talib played like a top-five cornerback, but he dealt with several injury problems that kept him out of games.
Not only did New England get a new defensive back, it got an upgrade.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, advanced statistics proved that Revis was the best coverage cornerback in the entire NFL from 2007 to 2012. His best year was 2009 when he led the league, only allowing 36.9 percent of passes to be complete in his coverage.
The All-Pro talent missed most of 2012 with a torn ACL, and then spent last season with a losing team that played a different style of defense. Revis was forced to play a lot of zone defense, even though his forte is man-to-man coverage.
It's also worth noting that Revis played in all 16 games last season, which was a big milestone after suffering a major knee injury the previous year. Before the ACL injury, he was a very durable player, only missing three games from 2007 to 2011.
Last year, the Patriots offense carried the team to a 12-4 record. According to ESPN, New England ranked among the top 10 in both passing and rushing yards per game.
If Revis can return to form, New England's pass defense could become a strength instead of a weakness. With Tom Brady controlling the offense, and Darrelle Revis leading the defense, the Patriots have a chance to compete for another Super Bowl.
Follow me @SupermanJZ
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!