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Defensive snaps: Effect of light 4-3

11/28/2011

PHILADELPHIA – Snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 38-20 win over the Eagles, while analyzing what it might mean (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

CB Kyle Arrington – 73 of 73

S James Ihedigbo – 73 of 73

LB Jerod Mayo – 73 of 73

S/CB Sterling Moore – 64 of 73

DE/LB Rob Ninkovich – 64 of 73

LB Tracy White – 64 of 73

DL Vince Wilfork – 55 of 73

CB Phillip Adams – 51 of 73

CB Antwaun Molden – 48 of 73

DE Andre Carter – 46 of 73

DL Kyle Love – 41 of 73

DE Mark Anderson – 35 of 73

S Sergio Brown – 32 of 73

DL Gerard Warren – 28 of 73

CB Julian Edelman – 16 of 73

DE Brandon Deaderick – 15 of 73

LB Gary Guyton – 11 of 73

DL Ron Brace – 7 of 73

DE Jermaine Cunningham – 6 of 73

DL Shaun Ellis – 1 of 73

(Includes false start, illegal contact, false start, defensive pass interference, offensive holding and false start penalties.)

ANALYSIS: The Patriots played a “lighter” 4-3, with LB Rob Ninkovich in more of an end-type, on-the-line role. This highlights how his versatility and production creates some flexibility within the scheme. Because of this, sturdier left ends Brandon Deaderick and Shaun Ellis played sparingly, with Ellis’ lone snap coming in the short-yardage package. … The Patriots' ability to be competitive against the run with lighter personnel reflects well on big DLs like Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love at the line of scrimmage. If they don't hold up, the plan doesn't work. The Eagles also aided things by not running much, which surprised some players. ... Veteran LB Tracy White is the type of player who doesn’t receive a lot of media attention, but he’s one of those professionals who quietly helps teams win. In addition to playing on the “Big 4” special teams units, he logged a season-high total for snaps, playing in base and sub packages as he was forced to step in because of injuries and his skill set best fitting the game-plan. … Sterling Moore played safety in the first half and into the second half, before moving to cornerback when Antwaun Molden was knocked out of the game. … A good opportunity for Sergio Brown to gain back some confidence, playing the final 32 snaps at safety after dropping on the depth chart in recent weeks. … With the outcome in hand, the coaching staff gave Julian Edelman some reps as the slot corner in the nickel, which could prove valuable should he be thrust into that role later in the season.