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Monday, October 15, 2012
Updating base vs. sub defense stats

By Mike Reiss

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 Seahawks:

at Seahawks
Base: 40 of 56 
Sub: 16 of 56
Short-yardage: 0 of 56

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 61.2 percent in sub packages (242 of 395, including penalties). The loss to the Seahawks marks the first game this season that the base defense was utilized more than double the sub defense. Initially, when the Seahawks called on a three-receiver package, the Patriots stayed in base but subbed out safety Tavon Wilson for cornerback Alfonzo Dennard to give themselves more of a cover-corner element while keeping the front-seven intact. This reflects how the Patriots were committed to stopping Marshawn Lynch and the running game, almost daring rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to beat them with his arm. He did.