Patriots CB Duane Starks has been placed on Injured Reserve, ending his first year with the Champs. Starks has been slowed by a thigh injury and was noticeably incapable of one on one coverage.
Guess how many defensive backs are on IR for the Pats. Five! Safeties Rodney Harrison and Gus Scott, Cornerbacks Tyrone Poole, Chad Scott, and now Duane Starks. This coupled with the release of Ty Law before the season has seriously disabled the Patriots ability to defend against the pass. I don't care who you are, when you have 5 DBs out for the season, you're going to give up quite a few points. Of the 10 DBs the Patriots started the season with, 5 are out for the year, and 2 (Randall Gay and James Sanders) have missed significant time due to injury.
Ellis Hobbs will probably move into the #2 CB position oppositte Asante Samuel. Hobbs was the 10th man on the Pats cornerback depth chart. Randall Gay will probably play at Safety if he can play. Hank Poteat, who was cut after camp, will be the #3 corner. Troy Brown could also see some time at defensive back. It isn't official or a rumor, but I wouldn't be too surprised if Tom Brady and Doug Flutie saw some time at cornerback if the injuries keep occuring.
The Patriots will begin the 2nd half of the regular season with only their 2nd divisional game. They're on the road against Miami, much later in the year than we are used to seeing us have to play in Florida. However, the forecast for tommorrow is 80 degrees and sunny.
Of the 8 remaining games on the schedule, 5 are within the division, 1 is non-divisional but within the AFC, and 2 are against NFC teams. 4 are at home and 4 are on the road. The Pats don't have 2 home games or two road games in a row. The schedule is much easier than the first 8 games of the season. We play the Dolphins twice, the Jets twice, the Bills, Chiefs, Saints, and Buccaneers. The Pats really need to capitalize on those division games and beat up on some bad teams if they want to claim the AFC East for the 3rd year in a row.