Snaps: Siliga holds his own at nose tackle

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
7:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at snaps played by New England Patriots defenders in Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns, while analyzing what it means (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

DE Chandler Jones – 76 of 76
DE Rob Ninkovich – 76 of 76
S Devin McCourty – 75 of 76
CB Aqib Talib – 75 of 76
S Steve Gregory – 66 of 76
DT Chris Jones – 65 of 76
LB Dont'a Hightower – 58 of 76
LB Jamie Collins – 55 of 76
NT Sealver Siliga – 53 of 76
CB Logan Ryan – 51 of 76
LB Brandon Spikes – 47 of 76
CB Kyle Arrington – 32 of 76
LB Dane Fletcher – 32 of 76
CB Alfonzo Dennard – 25 of 76
DT Joe Vellano – 22 of 76
S Duron Harmon – 16 of 76
DE Andre Carter – 11 of 76
NT Isaac Sopoaga – 2 of 76

(Penalties included. Spikes included. One additional snap, which accounts for 12-men-on-the-field penalty.)

Analysis: The first-unit presence of Siliga, promoted from the practice squad two weeks ago, was notable. The 6-foot-2, 325-pound second-year pro started over Vellano (6-1, 300) as the Patriots prioritized taking away the Browns’ inside running game and appeared to want more bulk and power. Siliga, who also played over veteran Sopoaga (relegated to two snaps of short-yardage work), seemed to hold his own. … The single snaps that McCourty and Talib missed were in short yardage. … Hightower wore the green dot on his helmet as he had the communication device in his helmet to get the calls. … The Patriots didn’t run many nickel fronts, which is why Carter’s snap total was low. … Collins, the team’s top pick in April, is playing more as he’s showing up in the base defense and also in sub at times. His 55 snaps were easily a season high, more than doubling his previous top mark of 26 against the Dolphins on Oct. 27. … In the secondary, the Patriots played Talib and Ryan as the top corners in the base defense, but in the sub they removed Ryan and inserted Dennard and Arrington. … Gregory, in his second game back since breaking his thumb, took more of the snaps as rookie Harmon was slightly edged out.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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