- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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As part of monitoring a growing trend in recent years for the Patriots -- the defense playing more in space in sub packages (5 or more defensive backs) -- let's update the numbers after Sunday's loss to the Cardinals:
Sub: 30 of 64
Base: 29 of 64
Short-yardage: 5 of 64
Sub: 42 of 65
Base: 21 of 65
Short-yardage: 2 of 65
That puts the two-game total at 55.8 percent in sub packages. The number figures to fluctuate based on the specific matchup.
Last season, the Patriots were in sub 63 percent of the time, highlighting the importance of a fifth and sometimes sixth defensive back. Ras-I Dowling, Sterling Moore and Tavon Wilson have filled those roles so far this season.