And you can't say that it's that big of surprise....they've gotten overachieving performances to keep that defense at least average over the past decade or so. Freeney is the only regular starter drafted in the first round. Simple lack of talent was going to catch up eventually when push came to shove, and it finally has.
They are still very much a play from in front team, if the offense gets a lead, the defense is built to protect it. I just have seen no reason to believe that it can't achieve that yet again as long as Manning is out their throwing the pig skin!