If you ask New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott, he would tell you that the New England Patriots defense "can't stop a nose bleed." While that may be an overstatement in comparison to some of the other defenses in the NFL, I would be inclined to agree with him in some respects.
It appeared as though the Patriots defense was taking strides at the end of the 2010 season, giving up just 44 points in their last four games for an average of 11 points per game. Against the Jets in the playoffs, stopping a nose bleed was the least of their concerns; they had the Jets to worry about, and Gang Green opened the floodgates with 508 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns.
Of course, it's unfair to judge the defense based on that one game. It does act as a solid reminder of where the Patriots are as a defense, and what needs to be improved. Here are just a few ways in which the Patriots defense could make up for lost ground in 2011.