Defensive snaps: No safety rotation

September, 24, 2012
9/24/12
10:30
AM ET
BALTIMORE – A look at the snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 31-30 loss to the Ravens on Sunday night, while analyzing what it might mean (small margin for error):

S Patrick Chung – 73 of 73
S Steve Gregory – 73 of 73
LB Jerod Mayo – 73 of 73
CB Devin McCourty – 73 of 73
CB Kyle Arrington – 70 of 73
DE Chandler Jones – 65 of 73
DT Vince Wilfork – 62 of 73
DE Rob Ninkovich – 58 of 73
LB Dont’a Hightower – 54 of 73
LB Brandon Spikes – 47 of 73
DT Kyle Love – 41 of 73
CB Sterling Moore – 32 of 73
DE/DT Jermaine Cunningham – 22 of 73
DE Trevor Scott – 18 of 73
DT Ron Brace – 15 of 73
S Tavon Wilson – 12 of 73
DT Marcus Forston – 8 of 73
CB Ras-I Dowling – 4 of 73
CB Marquice Cole—3 of 73

(Penalties included. Kneel-down not included.)

ANALYSIS: The Patriots had been rotating rookie Tavon Wilson in at safety in the base defense at times, but didn’t do so Sunday night. The safety play seemed to hurt the Patriots. Wilson played solely in the dime. … The snap counts reflect a defense that ran out of some gas late, as the Patriots called on reserves like Trevor Scott for extended snaps in the fourth quarter when the Ravens mounted their comeback. Chandler Jones, arguably the team’s best pass rusher, wasn’t on the field for most of the series in which the Ravens closed to 30-28. Jones had played all 32 first-half snaps and the first 24 snaps of the second half, but was rotated out on that drive. … When defensive tackle Vince Wilfork was subbed out on the Ravens’ final drive of the second half, the Patriots had some trouble in the running game. … Sterling Moore was once again was the nickelback over Ras-I Dowling. … Linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Brandon Spikes split snaps in the nickel.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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