Final test for sub defense

December, 30, 2011
12/30/11
6:00
AM ET
When looking back at the first meeting between the Patriots and Bills, on Sept. 25, it was a contest in which the Patriots were in a sub defense for almost the entire game.

The Bills spread the Patriots out with multiple-receiver packages, so the New England 'D' countered with extra defensive backs on 58 of 66 snaps. The only time the Patriots got out of sub was when lead-blocking fullback Corey McIntyre came on the field, or in short-yardage/goal-line situations.

With game-time temperatures expected to be in the high-40s/low-50s on Sunday, one would think the Bills continue to attack in that way, making this a final test for the Patriots' sub defense leading into the playoffs. With that in mind, it would be nice for the Patriots to get safety Patrick Chung back in the mix so he has a tune-up before the playoffs.

Here is the Patriots' season outlook when comparing the base vs. sub defense:

Sub -- 644 of 1,055 (61.0 percent)
Base -- 384 of 1,055 (36.3 percent)
Short-yardage -- 27 of 1,055 (2.5 percent)

The game by game breakdown of base vs. sub:

Dolphins
Sub
-- 36 of 68
Base -- 32 of 68
Short-yardage -- 0 of 68

Broncos
Base
-- 33 of 60
Sub -- 26 of 60
Short-yardage -- 1 of 60

Colts
Sub --
69 of 73
Short-yardage -- 3 of 73
Base -- 1 of 73

Eagles
Sub
-- 61 of 73
Base -- 11 of 73
Short-yardage -- 1 of 73

Chiefs
Base --
41 of 70
Sub -- 29 of 70
Short-yardage -- 0 of 70

Jets
Sub
-- 50 of 72
Base -- 22 of 72
Short-yardage -- 0 of 72

Giants
Sub --
35 of 72
Base -- 34 of 72
Short-yardage -- 3 of 72

Steelers
Sub --
62 of 80
Base -- 14 of 80
Short-yardage -- 4 of 80

Cowboys
Base
-- 40 of 74*
Sub -- 33 of 74
Short-yardage -- 1 of 74
* Includes one play with 12 men on the field

Jets
Base
-- 33 of 54
Sub -- 21 of 54
Short-yardage -- 0 of 54

Raiders
Base
-- 38 of70*
Sub -- 30 of 70
Short-yardage -- 2 of 70
* includes one play with 10 men on the field

Bills
Sub
-- 58 of 66
Base -- 2 of 66
Short-yardage -- 6 of 66

Chargers
Sub
-- 49 of 72
Base -- 22 of 72
Short-yardage -- 1 of 72

Dolphins
Sub
-- 59 of 76
Base -- 15 of 76
Short yardage -- 2 of 76

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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