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The Boston Globe

Sports

Christopher L. Gasper

Patriots’ defensive breakdowns loom large

BALTIMORE — So much for the new and improved Patriots. You know, the ones with an airtight defense and a newfound running game. Like the real NFL officials, that version of the Patriots never showed up Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium.

Now, we have a version of the Patriots we haven’t seen in 10 years. The Patriots are now below .500 for the first time since starting the 2003 campaign with a loss in Buffalo. They are 1-2 for the first time since 2001. That is both a testament to the metronomic success of the Patriots’ organization and the fact that change is never easy and slow to come.

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