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Monday, January 16, 2012
Defensive snaps: Anderson answers

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 45-10 divisional-round playoff win over the Broncos and analyzing what it might mean (as charted in the press box, small margin for error):

S Patrick Chung – 71 of 71
DE/OLB Mark Anderson – 70 of 71
CB/S Devin McCourty – 68 of 71
LB Jerod Mayo – 66 of 71
LB/DE Rob Ninkovich – 66 of 71
CB Kyle Arrington – 61 of 71
LB Brandon Spikes – 59 of 71
DL Vince Wilfork – 57 of 71
DL Kyle Love – 49 of 71
S James Ihedigbo – 41 of 71
DL Gerard Warren – 39 of 71
CB Sterling Moore – 36 of 71
DE Brandon Deaderick – 32 of 71
DL Shaun Ellis – 27 of 71
LB Dane Fletcher – 14 of 71
LB Niko Koutouvides – 13 of 71
CB Julian Edelman – 4 of 71
LB Tracy White – 4 of 71
CB Antwaun Molden – 3 of 71

(Snaps include encroachment penalty, but don’t include half-ending kneel-down.)

ANALYSIS: This is how good things went for the Patriots’ defense; on the first play of the Broncos’ final drive, they only had 10 defenders on the field and still stopped running back Lance Ball for a loss of 1 yard, the 14th negative play of the day. … DE/OLB Mark Anderson logged a season-high total of snaps played, as the team leaned on him in a got-to-have-it situation and he delivered with a strong effort. … Second-year ILB Brandon Spikes was back in an extended role after being eased into the mix in the season finale. His backup, Dane Fletcher, didn’t play until the second half. … Julian Edelman’s inexperience at cornerback appeared to show up when he was penalized for being offside on his first snap. The penalty was declined. … Safety Patrick Chung was added to the injury report Friday (knee) but showed no signs of being slowed in going wire to wire. … Continued growth from DL Kyle Love, who played strong inside along Vince Wilfork. …. The Patriots stayed with four defensive backs when the Broncos showed more of a passing look and subbed CB Sterling Moore in for S James Ihedigbo in those situations. When Moore came on, CB Devin McCourty moved to safety. … Shaun Ellis and Gerard Warren rotated into the DL mix on the fourth drive. Ellis had 5 of his 27 snaps in the first half, while Warren had 12 of his 39 in the opening half.