Defensive snaps: LBs without Mayo

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
10:15
PM ET
OAKLAND – Snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 31-19 win over the Raiders, and analyzing what it means (as charted in the press box, small margin for error):

S Patrick Chung – 70 of 70
CB Devin McCourty
– 70 of 70
DL Vince Wilfork
– 69 of 70
CB Kyle Arrington – 68 of 70
DE Andre Carter – 49 of 70
LB/DE Rob Ninkovich – 49 of 70
LB Gary Guyton – 48 of 70
LB Brandon Spikes – 46 of 70
DE Shaun Ellis
– 42 of 70
S Sergio Brown – 36 of 70
DL Gerard Warren
– 34 of 70
CB Antwaun Molden – 30 of 70
LB Jerod Mayo – 25 of 70
DL Kyle Love – 23 of 70
DE Mark Anderson – 21 of 70
LB Dane Fletcher – 20 of 70
S Josh Barrett – 18 of 70
DE Jermaine Cunningham – 16 of 70
S James Ihedigbo – 14 of 70
LB Tracy White – 12 of 70

(Illegal block above the waist, 12 men on the field, and unnecessary roughness penalties included, as well as 2-point conversion. There was one play in which the Patriots only had 10 men on the field – Darrius Heyward-Bey’s 58-yard catch late in the fourth quarter.)

ANALYSIS: Focusing on how the Patriots adjusted without Jerod Mayo, four-year veteran Gary Guyton assumed most of his responsibilities as the signal-caller with the green dot on his helmet. That meant Guyton had the communication device in his helmet to receive the play-call from the sideline. ... Also, career special teamer Tracy White (2 first-half snaps; 10 second-half snaps) saw more time as a nickel linebacker, and Dane Fletcher's time also increased (2 first-half snaps; 18 second-half snaps). … It probably wasn't a coincidence that without Mayo, the Patriots were penalized for having 12 men on the field on one play, and later had a snap with just 10 players on the field. Staying organized and getting everyone on the same page is a big part of Mayo's job description. ... The lone play in which Vince Wilfork was on the sideline came on the Raiders’ third drive (a 5-yard run by Darren McFadden). That’s an ironman effort with Wilfork showing top stamina. … Second-year player Jermaine Cunningham saw his most extended time outside of the goal-line package, getting a chance to rush as an end in the second half. Still, Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter remain the top ends. … Cornerback Antwaun Molden was the nickel back, logging a season-high in snaps played. ... Safety Patrick Chung wasn’t limited on defense, playing every snap. The Patriots rotated their safeties alongside him, with Josh Barrett playing solely in the first half and Sergio Brown and James Ihedigbo sharing time in the second half, with Brown the primary option. Ihedigbo might have been shorted a few snaps here (will check Wednesday and update).

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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