Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe writes about the Patriots "red area" defense. The "red area" is a term used by Patriots players and coaches talking about the 20 yard-line to the goal line (also widely known as red zone). "I know that the red area is a critical point offensively and defensively in the game,'' Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said yesterday. "You have to be able to win in the red area. There's a difference from 3 points and 7 points. Sometimes 3 points turns to none if they miss [a field goal attempt]. So, that's a critical area.''
Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes about third-year defensive lineman Ron Brace. Brace returned to the practice field this after being lifted from the PUP list along with Brandon Deaderick and Kevin Faulk. "It's been going good [at practice]," Brace said. "I had 10 months off since I've been in pads, so every day I'm working on getting better, making goals for myself. Everyone else has experienced training camp and the prior six weeks of the season. So it's basically trying to catch up with everybody."
Karen Guregian of the* Boston Herald* writes about recent comments made by Patriots guard Brian Waters. When asked about a physical Pittsburgh defense Waters said, "The running game is important every week, but especially setting a tone going against a team like this that takes pride in stopping the run. They want to hit you as best they can, they want to get to your quarterback. They want to be physical up front. So you want to combat that as best you can."
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com breaks down the Patriots defense by formation. After starting the season in mostly sub packages (five or more defensive backs), the Patriots have started to use their base defense more in their last three games. Overall this season the Patriots have been in their sub packages 60.6 percent of defensive snaps, base defense 36.4 percent and short yardage defense 2.9 percent of the time.
The Boston Herald breaks down BenJarvus Green-Ellis and his ability to gain yards after first contact. Green-Ellis has 91 carries for 391 yards with 210 yards coming after first contact. Green-Ellis has also caused 11 potential tackles to miss their mark.