After reviewing the snap counts from the New England Patriots' Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos, let's go over my biggest takeaways from those snaps counts.
Damien Harris Very Limited Following Breakout Performance
Despite having a breakout performance in which he rushed 17 times for 100 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs, running back Damien Harris didn't play very much in Week 6.
Against the Broncos, Harris played a total of 12 snaps, which was just 21 percent of the team's total offensive snaps. Meanwhile, James White (31 snaps) and Rex Burkhead (18 snaps) out-snapped Harris.
Game flow didn't seem to merit Harris being so limited against Denver. However, the running backs as a whole struggled to get much going on the ground, mustering up just 41 yards on 15 carries (2.7 yards per carry). The game plan seemed to go against Harris during New England's third loss of the season, so I wouldn't expect his snap count to be that low moving forward.
Gunner Olszewski Didn't Play Offense At All
What may have been the biggest surprise of Week 6 wasn't the lack of playing time from one of New England's running backs, but rather the lack of playing time for one of their pass-catchers.
Gunner Olszewski, who returned from injured reserve in Week 4 and played six snaps against the Chiefs, didn't play a single snap against the Broncos on offense. He played 13 total snaps on special teams.
It's unknown why Olszewski is receiving such a limited workload. After looking like one of the best receivers on the roster during training camp, the former Div. 2 standout has yet to make an impression in the passing game since returning from injury. Hopefully Olszewski's lack of presence on offense is short-lived and he'll be able to earn more reps moving forward. We know the receiver room can use all the help they can get.
Devin Asiasi Closing Snap Gap With Ryan Izzo
Although he has yet to even receive a target through five games, rookie tight end Devin Asiasi seems as if he's closing the gap between him and Ryan Izzo based on their snap counts against the Broncos. Izzo played 35 snaps in Week 6, while Asiasi played 24.
Izzo's fumble in the second half likely thrusted Asiasi into a larger role, which doesn't exactly guarantee Asiasi more playing time moving forward. However, based on a dire need for some explosiveness at the tight end position, there are many people that are are beginning to chant louder and louder for Asiasi to be given more playing time.
At this point it seems as if the position can only improve. So why not give Asiasi more playing time?
Anfernee Jennings Earns Highest Snap Count Thus Far
Rookie linebacker Anfernee Jennings had yet to see the field consistently in a game heading into Week 6, earning a season-high 14 snaps against the Chiefs in Week 4.
However, Jennings saw the field a bit more against the Broncos.
Jennings earned a season-high 28 snaps against Denver, recording three tackles on the day. Jennings earning his most snaps to-date in Week 6 likely had to do with the fact that New England wanted to put bigger bodies in the box to stop the run, although that didn't really seem to help very much (Phillip Lindsay rushed 23 times for 101 yards against the Patriots).
Regardless of how the performance panned out for the entire unit, it's promising to see the Alabama product working his way into the lineup.
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