There was a common theme in three of New England’s four losses — lousy pass defense caused by miscommunication and coverage busts. San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and Seattle’s Russell Wilson combined for 10 touchdown passes, eight of which spanned at least 20 yards. This may not bode well if the Patriots have to face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos once again in the AFC Championship game. New England, though, is capable of shutting down an aerial attack. The Patriots finished tied for fifth in interceptions with 20 led by safeties Devin McCourty (five) and rookie Tavon Wilson (four). - Alex Marvez
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