Saying the defence played "oustanding" is a bit of a stretch. They played a good game, but nothing spectacular like SB 42. Aside from the safety and the series to end the game, the Patriots had a total of 7 possessions. Simply looking at the 17 points given up can be misleading. The defence blew the coverage on the welker incompletion, but not allowing the pats to score when they were up 17-12 and 17-15 kept the game within reach.
You cannot give up 16 straight completions and play "oustanding".