Updating base vs. sub defensive stats

October, 8, 2012
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 win over the Broncos:

vs. Broncos
Sub: 60 of 66
Base: 5 of 66
Short-yardage: 1 of 66

at Bills
Sub: 58 of 71
Base: 13 of 71
Short-yardage: 0 of 71

at Ravens
Base: 37 of 73
Sub: 36 of 73
Short-yardage: 0 of 73

vs. Cardinals
Sub: 30 of 64
Base: 29 of 64
Short-yardage: 5 of 64

at Titans
Sub: 42 of 65
Base: 21 of 65
Short-yardage: 2 of 65

That puts the five-game total at 66.6 percent in sub packages (226 of 339, including penalties). Cornerback Sterling Moore began Sunday's game as the fifth defensive back, with Ras-I Dowling serving as the dime back. But on the fourth offensive series, rookie Alfonzo Dennard replaced Moore as the fifth defensive back. Moore wasn't entirely demoted as he returned to play one series over Dennard in the second half.

Given the rise of sub defense, this positional battle between Moore and Dennard bears watching the weeks to come.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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