New article up on Bleacher Report from me Mike D.!
Schematically, the Patriots shifted their defense to a lighter 4-3 front featuring Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love, two traditional nose tackle-types in the old 3-4, in the middle. The advantage is that the Patriots now have at least five athletic linebacker-types on the field at all times, and, in theory, should be able to rush the passer on any down. The key to this switch has been Rob Ninkovich, who, despite being smaller than a traditional Patriots defensive end like Ty Warren, has been able to hold up in the run game. Ninkovich has been timely with his big plays, but the Pats still need a more consistent pass rush from him.