The defense continues to be under the microscope throughout New England after another disappointing outing against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The unit ranks last in the league and yards and 31st in points, so naturally much of the talk in the Patriots locker room dealt with the problems on that side of the ball.
ESPNBoston.com checks in with Dont'a Hightower, who said the players have to hold themselves to a higher standard. The Boston Globe has Patrick Chung explaining how the unit simply must improve. It's time for the coaches to take some accountability for the defense's performance.
The Boston Herald says it's time to go back to the drawing board on defense. The Providence Journal looked at the films and saw quite a few problems on defense. MassLive.com says there may have been injury added to insult with regard to Stephon Gilmore, who was listed with an ankle injury on the practice participation report. NBCSports.com (formerly CSNNE) wonders if Gilmore is dissatisfied with the way he's being used. Duron Harmon has had enough of the lackluster defensive efforts. WEEI.com looks specifically at some individuals who haven't done their jobs on defense.
Despite the disappointing start, the Globe says the Patriots have navigated their way through tough times before.
According to Bill Belichick, it wasn't all bad on defense. The coach felt the pressure up front was competitive and consistent.
Offensively, the Worcester Telegram credits the work of James Develin for helping out the running game. MassLive.com says Mike Gillislee and Dion Lewis gave the running game a spark against the Panthers.
Nationally, ESPN.com takes a look at some of the biggest surprises in the league thus far.
Not that is matters, but ESPN.com reports that the Patriots are no longer consensus Super Bowl favorites in Las Vegas.
In Tampa, the Bucs welcomed the return of Doug Martin, who served a four-game suspension (first game was Week 17 last year) to start the season. The running back expects to play Thursday night. NESN.com provides a scouting report on the Bucs. The Tampa Bay Times offers a preview of Thursday's game as well. Old friend Sealver Siliga knows his old team well.