Alan Branch

Patriots Defense Stingiest In NFL Heading To Playoffs

The New England defense has turned from a major question mark to a strength as the Patriots steam toward the playoffs.

"It's just y'all that was gassing all of that up," defensive co-captain Dont'a Hightower said Thursday, pointing a finger at the media. "That's what y'all was doing. Y'all was saying that. We knew what we had and the stats speak for themselves."

Tough to argue, especially in recent weeks.

The Patriots, who visit Miami on Sunday looking for their seventh straight win, a 14-2 regular-season record and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, haven't yielded a touchdown in more than nine quarters and haven't allowed a real...