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Monday, June 13, 2011
Ball carriers had it tough against AFC East


Football Outsiders produced its data on broken tackles for individual defenders last week. Now we can take a look at how each team fared when it came to taking down ball carriers.

The AFC East fared well overall through Football Outsiders' analysis. The New England Patriots allowed the fewest broken tackles and the lowest percentage per play in the league. Opponents broke 44 tackles on 1,058 defensive plays (4.0 percent).

Patriots inside linebacker Jerod Mayo was second among all NFL defenders (minimum 50 tackles) with a 0.8 broken-tackle percentage. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork was one of five defensive linemen with zero broken tackles and at least 40 tackles.

The New York Jets were fifth-best, yielding 50 broken tackles on 976 defensive plays (4.6 percent). Sione Pouha was in Wilfork's select club, while inside linebacker Bart Scott gave up only two.

Also in the NFL's upper half were the Miami Dolphins. They ranked 15th at 5.5 percent, allowing 60 broken tackles on 969 defensive plays.

The Buffalo Bills were 23rd. They allowed 70 broken tackles on 1,062 defensive plays (6.3 percent). They were buoyed by the efficiency of linebacker Paul Posluszny and safety Donte Whitner. Posluszny ranked sixth among all defenders with only 2.6 percent of his tackles getting broken. Whitner ranked sixth among defensive backs at 3.7 percent.