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Monday, December 24, 2012
Sub & short-yardage D in spotlight

By Mike Reiss

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In updating this season's "base vs. sub defense" stats, two main areas stand out:

1. The Patriots' short-yardage package delivered on the goal-line in its two snaps, one of which was the false-start penalty on tight end Zach Potter. With the Patriots carrying fewer beefy interior defensive linemen on their 46-man game-day roster this season, a result of their overall scheme change to a lighter, faster unit, it hasn't affected them from remaining stout in those short-yardage situations. It helps to have bigger linebackers.

2. This was a game mostly played in the sub, as the Jaguars dictated that approach from the get-go by opening with three receivers and playing up-tempo. This hit at some depth issues for the Patriots, as their top two cornerbacks -- Aqib Talib (8 snaps) and Alfonzo Dennard (inactive, knee) -- weren't in the mix. 

The season breakdown:

at Jaguars
Sub: 63 of 80
Base: 15 of 80
Short-yardage: 2 of 80

vs. 49ers
Base: 51 of 67
Sub: 11 of 67
Short-yardage: 5 of 67

vs. Texans
Base:
47 of 70
Sub: 20 of 70
Short-yardage: 3 of 70

at Dolphins
Sub: 36 of 63
Base: 27 of 63
Short-yardage: 0 of 63

at Jets
Sub:
49 of 72
Base: 22 of 72
Short-yardage: 1 of 72

vs. Colts
Sub: 54 of 78
Base: 22 of 78
Short-yardage: 2 of 78

vs. Bills
Sub: 62 of 81
Base: 17 of 81
Short-yardage: 2 of 81

at Rams
Base: 39 of 63
Sub: 24 of 63
Short-yardage: 0 of 63

vs. Jets
Base: 50 of 84
Sub: 32 of 84
Short-yardage: 2 of 84

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

FINAL NUMBERS: This puts the 15-game total at 55.8 percent in sub packages (593 of 1,062, including penalties). That's lower than last year, which was in the 60 percent range.