Over the last three seasons, pass defense has been the weak link for the New England Patriots.

No other NFL team gave up more 20-plus passing plays in that span, with the Pats consistently near the bottom of the league in total passing yards allowed and ranked third-worst in yards per pass.

However, the Pats' defense had its best season against the run in nearly a decade in 2012, but that couldn't save New England from another disappointing ending. In a passing league, a stout run defense doesn't matter if a team can't stop an aerial assault.

In 2013, the Patriots' defensive paradigm has quickly, and completely, shifted.