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Defensive snaps: Day for d-backs

A look at snaps played by Patriots defenders in Sunday's win over the Steelers, while looking at trends that could play a factor in the team's next game, against the Colts (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

CB Kyle Arrington -- 78 of 78

ILB Jerod Mayo -- 78 of 78

CB Devin McCourty -- 78 of 78

S Brandon Meriweather -- 77 of 78

S Patrick Chung -- 63 of 78

S James Sanders -- 62 of 78

DE Tully Banta-Cain -- 61 of 78

LB Gary Guyton -- 53 of 78

DE Shawn Crable -- 42 of 78

DL Gerard Warren -- 38 of 78

DL Mike Wright -- 33 of 78

S Sergio Brown -- 31 of 78

DL Vince Wilfork -- 31 of 78

OLB/DE Jermaine Cunningham -- 30 of 78

DL Brandon Deaderick -- 24 of 78

OLB Rob Ninkovich -- 23 of 78

CB Jonathan Wilhite -- 18 of 78

DL Ron Brace -- 17 of 78

ILB Brandon Spikes -- 16 of 78

DL Kyle Love -- 4 of 78

S Aaron Hernandez -- 1 of 78

(Includes holding, offside, illegal offensive formation, defensive pass interference and offsetting holding penalties, as well as three two-point conversion attempts)

ANALYSIS: With the Patriots getting ahead early, which created more pass-rush opportunities, this was a game played mostly in sub packages. That explains why five of the top six defenders, in terms of playing time, were defensive backs. ... DE Tully Banta-Cain was a rusher in both the nickel and dime sub packages and he turned in a strong performance with a high snap count. ... LB Gary Guyton, who replaced ILB Brandon Spikes in sub packages, also had one of his best games as his speed and blitzing was tapped in the plan. ... DE Shawn Crable, who rushed off the defensive left side in both the nickel and dime, played a season-high total of snaps. One might conclude that the Patriots didn't like what they saw in that extended action since they waived him Tuesday. ... DL Mike Wright played 27 of his 33 snaps in the first half, as his injured groin might have been getting a rest for much of the second half. The 27 snaps were easily a high among defensive linemen in the first half; in contrast, Vince Wilfork played just 12 snaps in the first half. ... S Aaron Hernandez came on for a Steelers' Hail Mary possibility at the end of the first half, marking the second time this season he's been tapped for that safety-type role. Randy Moss used to be the player to fill that void.