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Sports

September 26, 2011

The defense rests ... again; Exposed by Bills, Pats take giant step backward

Patriots fans, who are you gonna flog?

All your wild hopes and crazy dreams that a cauldron full of second, third and fourth round picks, combined with a handful of bargain basement, free-agent projects had returned your football team's defense to its 2004 apex were smothered by of all teams, the Buffalo Bills.

Somebody has to pay after yesterday's 34-31 implosion in Buffalo.

So who is it going to be?

Bill Belichick? Personnel guru Nick Caserio? The Krafts?

I don't know if it's Belichick or Bill Parcells who said it. Perhaps, it's a hybrid of both, but you are what you are.

And three games into the year - two against sub-journeyman QBs in Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chad Henne - the Patriots are a team that has surrendered 26.3 points and 468.7 yards per game.

Even in this inflated-offense, chicks-dig-the-longball NFL, those numbers are astronomical.

The fact is that the Pats have sold their fans a bill of goods in this now six-to-seven year rebuilding process on the non-Tom Brady side of the football.

Look out there right now at the defensive line with Kyle Love, Mark Anderson, Andre Carter and Shaun Ellis, then look in the secondary at any of your defensive backs. And remember that you had a pair of "real" All-Pros here - cornerstones in Asante Samuel and Richard Seymour - and you chose not to pay them.

Devin McCourty? Tell me the truth. You were having Ellis Hobbs III/Plaxico Burress flashbacks when Stevie Johnson schooled him on the second quarter TD pass.

I know I was.

And remember that incredible 2009 draft, the one with linebackers Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews and Rey Maualuga all within reach?

Belichick, or maybe it's Caserio, chose to backpedal into the second round where instead of spending a dollar in the first round, he plunked down four quarters in the second.

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