Banta-Cain goes all in

November, 9, 2009
11/09/09
8:32
PM ET

A look at snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team's 27-17 win over the Dolphins (as charted in the press box, small margin for error):

OLB Tully Banta-Cain -- 72 of 72 snaps

S Brandon McGowan -- 72 of 72

S Brandon Meriweather -- 72 of 72

ILB Jerod Mayo -- 71 of 72

CB Leigh Bodden -- 63 of 72

DE Vince Wilfork -- 61 of 72

CB Darius Butler -- 58 of 72

ILB Gary Guyton -- 58 of 72

NT/DT Mike Wright -- 50 of 72

OLB Adalius Thomas -- 44 of 72

DE Ty Warren -- 43 of 72

DT Myron Pryor -- 36 of 72

CB/S Shawn Springs -- 32 of 72

S Pat Chung -- 31 of 72

DE Derrick Burgess -- 27 of 72

CB Terrence Wheatley -- 1 of 72

(Snaps come up one short as the Patriots had 10 defenders on the field, not the standard 11, for Ronnie Brown's 16-yard run in the fourth quarter, which was a rare error by the Patriots coaching staff; snaps include a roughing-the-passer penalty and a defensive pass interference penalty)

ANALYSIS: The wire-to-wire effort of Banta-Cain stands out. He is one of the best players on the defense right now, playing in every package as the team's top outside linebacker and pass rusher … In moving Wilfork to end, and keeping him on the field for most third-down situations, the Patriots smashed the perception that Wilfork is just a two-down player. Wilfork moved to right end to match up against left tackle Jake Long, a reflection of how the Patriots view him as their best lineman … Pryor continues to play over fellow rookie Ron Brace, regardless of the scheme, including short-yardage situations … The primary sub package was the dime, with Chung and Springs coming onto the field as the fifth and sixth defensive backs. When the Patriots played nickel (five defensive backs), Chung was the extra DB … Thomas is not part of sub packages, but his snap total reflects how often the Patriots were in their base 3-4 alignment … The Patriots did not adopt a three-man rotation at inside linebacker, sticking with Guyton and Mayo, as Junior Seau dressed but did not play.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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