Reggie Wayne has seen a lot of different Patriots defenses over the last 14 years. Wayne is old enough to remember when his Colts were in the same division as New England, and the two squads have played at least once every season since 2003, including last season's playoff game.
"This secondary here, in my 14 years playing New England, is probably the best complete secondary," Wayne said this week, via the Providence Journal. "I think it allows them to do more things up front with their front seven games that they probably haven't done in the past years. They're talented. They're ball-hungry. It gives them a little bit of where they can be risk-takers with blitzes and things of that nature."
Wayne hits the nail on the head. We've talked often on our Around The NFL Podcast that Bill Belichick is coaching like it's 2004. That means we are seeing his creativity come to the forefront as opposed to the bland zone defenses with mediocre talent that we've mostly watched in New England over the last five years.
Darrelle Revis isn't as good as he was five years ago, but he's better than any cornerback the Patriots have had in a long time. Brandon Browner is playing physical man coverage, while slot cornerback Kyle Arrington and safety Patrick Chung are enjoying surprisingly resurgent seasons.
We have our doubts that Revis can keep up with the speedy T.Y. Hiltonon Sunday, a duty that might fall to Arrington when Hilton moves to the slot. Revis might be asked to shut down Wayne, while the Patriots take their chances that tight end Dwayne Allen doesn't beat them up the seam, something he's more than capable of.
This Colts' offense has a chance to be the best Belichick has faced since taking over in New England, even including all those Peyton Manning teams.
The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 11 game and recaps the Dolphins' key victory over the Bills. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.