The Patriots defense is bringing its championship mindset to life – Boston Herald

FOXBORO — Late in training camp, Patriots players would climb the stairs that bridge the concrete perimeter of Gillette Stadium to the practice fields outside the stadium’s south end.

At the top of the stairs, veteran cornerback Jalen Mills would greet his fellow defenders with an out-stretched hand and a message.

“Championship defense today, championship defense,” Mills would say. “Let’s go.”

Ten games into the regular season, Mills is speaking that mindset into existence.

The Patriots entered Sunday’s rematch with the Jets ranked near the top of every defensive category, and their standings should only rise after a dominant 10-3 win Sunday. The Pats pocketed five sacks and allowed a season-low 103 yards to a Jets team that had run up 387 in their prior meeting. Best of all, of those 103, only two came after halftime, a defensive franchise record.

“Still no ceiling,” Mills said of the defense. “There’s still no ceiling.”

After solving a couple wrinkles the Jets installed over their own bye week, the Patriots preyed on Zach Wilson’s risk-averse approach at quarterback. Several defenders disclosed post-game that they expected Wilson to play more conservatively after serving up three interceptions to them on Oct. 30. So, they disguised their coverage pre-snap and waited for him to either attempt a safe throw or get flushed out of the pocket by their hounding pass rush.

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