COMMENTARY | The New England Patriots somehow have a 5-1 record, despite injury woes and an offensive unit that hasn't looked quite right.
Defensively, the Patriots have looked surprisingly good. They've kept the team in the game while the offense finds a groove, as players like Aqib Talib have been playing at a Pro Bowl level. If they are to keep it up, they will have to do so without another key member.
This is obviously a huge blow to the New England defense. The team just lost Vince Wilfork for the season to an Achilles injury, and Mayo was one of the players who was expected to pick up some of the slack. He always seems to be in the middle of everything, as he racks up massive tackle totals every year. Mayo ended last season with a whopping 147 combined tackles, and already had 55 this season.
Brandon Spikes figures to be the team's leading linebacker in Mayo's absence. It's hard to expect the New England defense to figure out a way to replace both Mayo and Wilfork, two of the leaders on that side of the ball.
Luckily, the Patriots won't be facing an elite offense this week as they travel to play the New York Jets. They'll need to have something figured out in the near future, as they square off against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in just a few weeks.
Without a doubt, this is a devastating loss to a defensive unit that has suddenly been pretty good.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
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