It’s been nearly 11 months since the Patriots acquired Aqib Talib from the Buccaneers and fittingly the cornerback is coming off his best game in years just in time to show his old team what they’ve been missing.

Talib forced a fumble and intercepted two fourth-quarter passes including the decisive blow in last week’s victory against the Jets. The Bucs’ 2008 first-round pick would seemingly like nothing more than to back up that showing on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Talib’s done wonders to better a shaky reputation the last couple years despite a four-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs that ultimately ended his run with the Bucs who swung him here for a fourth-round pick when they decided he wouldn’t be re-signed in the offseason.

The Patriots have exceeded the value of their investment as Talib has helped change the direction of the defense. His presence immediately altered the secondary. Alfonzo Dennard slid to right cornerback Kyle Arrington shifted to the slot and Devin McCourty was given the peace of mind to know he’d be staying at safety.

They were also coached to play more aggressively and it showed with a heightened level of intensity both with the secondary and the front seven.

“(Talib’s arrival) defined different roles on the team and I think the biggest thing is it’s been able to stay that way” McCourty said. “He’s been here and guys have been healthy. It gives us a chance to not just play together but develop together and it helps us as a secondary.”