Patriots

Bedard’s Breakdown: Defense shows more than usual, Ja’Whaun Bentley arrives

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(Adam Richins for BSJ)

We'll get into our usual Gamechart and 3 up/3 down for the defensive side of the ball in the Patriots' 26-17 victory over Washington on Thursday night. But first, we'll start with the Patriots' defense, led by first-year de facto DC Brian Flores, showing a bit more than usual in an exhibition, and rookie LB Ja'Whaun Bentley making a real name for himself.

It's not that the Patriots never do anything creative on defense in an exhibition. And we're not saying the Patriots threw the kitchen sink at the Redskins on Thursday night (just look at all the space and base calls on Flores' playsheet during the telecast).

But I did find it interesting the Patriots did a lot of the things they do during the regular season — mixing zone and man coverage, sugaring the A gaps, coming on run blitzes — in this game. But then added another level with: