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Peter King on M&M: ‘We’ll just see if there’s enough talent there to fix’ Patriots defense

09.30.11 at 12:36 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Friday for his weekly discussion about the Patriots. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

New England travels to Oakland Sunday for a meeting with the 2-1 Raiders, who are led by running back Darren McFadden.

“I think the key question in this game and the key factor in this game, it all has to do with Darren McFadden,” King said. “Because Darren McFadden tweaked a groin muscle last week against the Jets. If he’s right, if he’s whole, he’s fully healthy, I’d say it’s either him or Adrian Peterson, it’s neck and neck for who the best back in football is right now. And clearly, you could make an argument for McFadden.

“If he’s healthy, this is a fourth-quarter game. If the Patriots run away with this game and McFadden’s healthy, it says to me that obviously, Bill Belichick does a great job getting his team back after a loss, getting the team to refocus and to understand they’re not as good as they thought they were.

“But the biggest question for me in this game, aside from that, is are they going to be able to get pressure on Jason Campbell, and are they going to be able to get coverage on these good young receivers? Nobody in New England has heard of Denarius Moore, but he all of a sudden overnight has become a threat for the Raiders. Those are the two things I really wonder about — their ability to play McFadden and then their ability to get some rush. You know they’re going to score some points, and probably a lot of them. If it’s going to be 38-35 again, eventually that’s going to doom the Patriots. They have to find a way to get to the quarterback better than they have so far.”

King said fans worried about the Patriots defense can take heart knowing that it’s gotten better over the past few seasons, and there is hope for more improvement this year.

“It’s only been three games, so there’s plenty of time to come out of this,” King said. “There’s no reason for people to be jumping off buildings. Because Belichick’s the smartest guy in the league when it comes to fixing what is wrong during the season. We’ll just see if there’s enough talent there to fix it.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Darren McFadden, Peter King,
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