Mark Gaughan's Play to Watch: Patriots' bear defense - The Buffalo News

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Mark Gaughan's Play to Watch: Patriots' bear defense

New England's base defense is the 4-3, but the Patriots will line up in more diverse fronts on all downs more than most teams. Against the Bills last season, they used some "bear fronts" as a way of clogging the running lanes for LeSean McCoy. The Jets successfully used similar condensed fronts, with a head-up nose tackle flanked by two linemen squeezing in the middle in 3-technique positions.

It's key for the linebackers to set the edge and the cornerbacks to play physical to prevent McCoy from getting around the corner. Of course, one way to attack it is to throw. The Pats also will play a 5-1 front with Cover 2 behind it if they're concerned about the wideouts.

"They want to get you to try to win a bunch of one-on-one matchups and keep guys off their linebackers," said Bills center Eric Wood. "They're multiple. You have to prepare for a lot of things. Sometimes you prepare for something and you might not even get it. It's something they had game-plan specific for somebody else."

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