Defensive snaps: Wilfork hits 70

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
10:30
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 23-20 AFC Championship win over the Ravens, while analyzing what it might mean (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

S Patrick Chung – 73 of 73
LB Jerod Mayo – 73 of 73
CB/S Devin McCourty – 73 of 73
DE/OLB Rob Ninkovich – 73 of 73
DE/OLB Mark Anderson – 72 of 73
DL Vince Wilfork – 70 of 73
S James Ihedigbo – 61 of 73
LB Brandon Spikes – 52 of 73
CB Kyle Arrington – 48 of 73
CB Sterling Moore – 46 of 73
DL Gerard Warren – 42 of 73
DL Kyle Love – 40 of 73
CB Julian Edelman – 27 of 73
DE Brandon Deaderick – 22 of 73
CB Antwaun Molden – 13 of 73
LB Dane Fletcher – 10 of 73
DL Ron Brace – 4 of 73
DL Shaun Ellis – 3 of 73
CB Nate Jones – 1 of 73

(Includes three false starts.)

ANALYSIS: Vince Wilfork’s 70-play total jumps off the page. For a 325-pound defensive lineman to handle that workload, and turn in the type of top-notch performance he did, is impressive. Maybe his finest moment as a Patriot. … The last two playoff games have also seen the Patriots ride their top edge-setters and edge-rushers, Rob Ninkovich and Mark Anderson, and not much has gotten outside. That type of workload is nothing new for Ninkovich, who has emerged as a three-down player, but Anderson has held his ground with a significant increase in playing time (in part because of Andre Carter’s season-ending injury). … In the base defense, Devin McCourty played cornerback. In sub packages, he moved to safety. … Linebacker Brandon Spikes was part of the base and nickel, and came off in the dime. … File this under the numbers lining up right -- Kyle Arrington wears No. 24 and he played 24 snaps in the first half and 24 in the second half. Arrington usually plays the whole game but missed time with an eye injury before returning. … Along those lines, Julian Edelman played 27 snaps on offense and 27 snaps on defense, an even split.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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