There is something special about a defense that returns 10 of its 11 starters.
Call it steady, consistent, or even reliable (gasp!). You know what you're getting here in terms of talent, smarts, and headaches, all in one batch. That's the 2013 Patriots defense after adding only defensive tackle Tommy Kelly to its core group.
And similarly, the team's performance has not changed dramatically over the past three years, ranking 25th or worse in total defense and 29th or worse in passing defense. But over the past year, the defense has gone from a leaky cauldron of everything-in-the-pot stew, to a cream of mushroom soup, with much of its success being traced to a more consistent secondary, and in particular cornerback Aqib Talib.