Defensive snaps: 84 drains unit

October, 22, 2012
10/22/12
9:05
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Looking at the snaps played by Patriots defenders in Sunday’s 29-26 overtime win over the Jets, and analyzing what it means (small margin for error):

DE Chandler Jones – 84 of 84
S Devin McCourty – 84 of 84
S Tavon Wilson – 84 of 84
CB Kyle Arrington – 82 of 84
CB Alfonzo Dennard – 82 of 84
LB Jerod Mayo – 79 of 84
DL Vince Wilfork – 74 of 84
LB Brandon Spikes – 71 of 84
DE/LB Rob Ninkovich – 65 of 84
DL Kyle Love – 61 of 84
DE/DT Jermaine Cunningham -- 40 of 84
LB Dont’a Hightower – 36 of 84
DL Brandon Deaderick – 29 of 84
CB Ras-I Dowling – 22 of 84
CB Sterling Moore – 18 of 84
DE Justin Francis – 7 of 84
S Nate Ebner – 5 of 84

(Includes penalties. Snaps are one shy, which accounts for the Patriots having 10 men on the field on the Jets’ first touchdown.)

ANALYSIS: The 84 snaps, with seven coming in overtime, were a season high. The previous high was 73, against the Ravens. It’s no wonder defensive lineman Vince Wilfork stayed on the ground following the final play – he was exhausted. ... It's also a credit to Rob Ninkovich and his conditioning that he could still generate an explosive rush on his 65th snap. Professional effort. ... Jermaine Cunningham’s final rush might have been aided by fresh legs, as he had played just 11 of 43 second-half snaps before the game-sealing play. … Bill Belichick said after the game that “the deep part of the field was more secure than it’s been” and a big part of that could be tied to the consistency of having Devin McCourty play exclusively at safety alongside Tavon Wilson. All of McCourty’s 84 snaps came at safety, as this now becomes a storyline to follow – perhaps McCourty’s best fit on defense, given the current state of health/personnel, is at safety. … Chandler Jones was quiet for most of the game, with one of his highlights coming when he drew a holding penalty on his 53rd snap. He never left the field at any point, which reflects his value in the eyes of the coaching staff. … Ras-I Dowling played a few different roles – linebacker “money” spot in the dime and outside cornerback in the nickel before leaving in the fourth quarter with injury. … The two snaps that Alfonzo Dennard and Kyle Arrington didn’t play came in the goal-line/short-yardage package.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider