Kyle Arrington leads Pats in tackles … and leadership on field
|11.28.11 at 12:36 am ET|
Granted, two of them were after two of the biggest pass plays against the Patriots secondary all afternoon. Two plays after Vince Young hit Brent Celek on the game’s first play for 22 yards, Young connected with Riley Cooper on a deep post route for 58 yards before Arrington wrestled down Cooper at the Patriots’ 4.
The second big play came on the next drive as Young hit DeSean Jackson for 44 yards over the middle. Arrington again had to pull down the receiver.
Did Arrington figure the Eagles and Young were going to attack them the way they did?
“I think the Eagles offense, at first, had a lot of quick throws and they were working,” Arrington said. “I think we needed to press them more and it worked. We felt we needed to mix the coverages up more and make the Eagles earn it.”
The Patriots held the Eagles to a field goal. On that play, the Patriots seemed in disarray, with safety Sterling Moore having words with — and shoving — Arrington’s counterpart on the right side, Antwaun Molden.
But Arrington again proved to be the backbone of the secondary with the absence of Devin McCourty and safety Patrick Chung. Arrington pointed to the multifaceted Julian Edelman as an example of what can happen when role players pay close attention in practice.
“That is what practice is for,” Arrington said. “We work with different formations and different guys in there and it just works. When the guys on this team get in, they make the best of it, and it shows on the field. Injuries happen and it had to be the next guy up, ready to play.”
In the end, Young threw for exactly 400 yards against the Patriots secondary. But he needed 48 passes to do it, and he completed just 26 of them. So, does 400 yards allowed really matter when the Patriots led the game by more than 20 points for half of it?
“We are always working to just get better every day,” Arrington said, as if Bill Belichick were somewhere close by nodding in approval. “We like the way we’re playing and allowing teams not to score a lot in the past few games.”
Indeed, throw out the garbage touchdown with 32 seconds remaining, and the Patriots would’ve allowed fewer than 17 points in each of their last three wins. That number figures to improve to four with Curtis Painter and the Colts up next at Gillette this Sunday.