Continued from page 1

The defensive woes have only cost the Patriots two games. New England’s offense has been strong enough to compensate, but stalled the last two contests. After scoring 30 or more points in the first five games, New England has totaled just 37 in the last two.

That isn’t likely to be enough against Manning unless the defense manages to shut him down.

“I wish there was a way we could just press a button or something,” McCourty said. “But it’s just hard work and I think time, putting the extra effort into it, watching film together _ doing all that stuff I think will pay off for us.”