FOXBORO — Following their 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 13 at Gillette Stadium, the New England Patriots continue to take stock into their performance on both sides of the ball.
Having turned in a subpar performance, especially on defense, there are plenty of areas in which the Pats will continue to seek improvement. While game-film analysis will be the main focus, a look at playing time may assist the team in helping devise effective strategies moving forward.
Here is a look at the Patriots offensive snap counts, along with some possible insight on New England’s future game-planning.
On offense, the Pats overall snap count was 54 against the Bills.
Without surprise, starting quarterback Mac Jones went the distance on Thursday, finishing the nighttime completing 22 of 36 for 195 yards and one short screen completion to defensive back Marcus Jones, which the rookie took to the house for 48-yards. While Jones’ performance was largely forgettable (outside of the scoring strike), the 24-year-old neither turned the ball over, nor threw an interception.
Despite missing tackles Isaiah Wynn (foot injury) and Yodny Cajuste (calf injury), New England’s makeshift starting offensive played Mac Jones was sacked once and hit four total times on Thursday. All those hits are on the Patriots two tackles.Trent Brown: sack allowed, hit allowed, hold. Conor McDermott: hit allowed, hold
Rhamondre Stevenson proved to be the ultimate workhorse at running back, taking all but one of the Pats 54 offensive snaps. The second-year rusher carried the ball 10 times for 54 yards, while logging six catches for 24 yards. With Damien Harris sidelined due to a thigh injury, rookie Kevin Harris was the only running back besides Stevenson to log a carry, which went for a one-yard loss.
DeVante Parker led all wide receivers by seeing the field for 87 percent of the Pats’ offensive plays. Yet, the Louisville product caught just two passes for 16 yards. Jakobi Meyers (31 snaps) and Nelson Agholor (30 snaps) combined for five catches on eight targets for 39 yards. Still, the night’s most prominent snaps came from Marcus Jones, who earned his touchdown reception on one of his three snaps out of the slot.
After a bit of a resurgence in Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings, the tight ends fell back to relative obscurity. Despite being present for 87 percent of the Pats’ offensive snaps, Hunter Henry caught two passes for 13 yards, and was credited with allowing one hit on quarterback Mac Jones as a blocker. Jonnu Smith (17 snaps) logged two receptions for only six yards.
On defense, the Pats overall snap count was 75 against the Bills.
In addition to playing every defensive down (75 snaps) on Thursday, safety and team captain Devin McCourty also played and started in his 200th NFL game. Fellow starter Kyle Dugger was present for all but one play, while Adrian Phillips (35 snaps) and Jabrill Peppers (28 snaps) split time as the remaining member in the Pats’ customary three-safety sets.
Cornerback Jonathan Jones joined McCourty in going wire-to-wire, finishing the night with eight tackles. However, Jones had difficulty with containing Bills’ star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, as well as wideout Gabe Davis. The Auburn product was credited with allowing 82 passing yards and two touchdowns from Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen. Rookie Jack Jones (57 snaps) saw additional time on the perimeter in place of the injured Jalen Mills (groin), while Myles Bryant took 34 snaps in the slot.
Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux led all linemen by logging 55 snaps, followed closely by defensive end Deatrich Wise (54 snaps) and fellow tackle Lawrence Guy at 45. The line performed adequately in stopping Buffalo’s run game, allowing 132 yards and 3.6 yards per carry. However, they struggled in red zone stands, surrendering scores on all three of Buffalo’s trips inside the 20.
Team captain Ja’Whaun Bentley set the high mark for linebackers, playing on 87 percent of New England’s defensive plays. Matthew Judon logged 60 snaps, darling three tackles and one fumble recovery. Still, the NFL’s leader in sacks was held without a quarterback takedown for the second straight week. The standout performance at the position belonged to Josh Uche, who took a season- high 32 snaps in a pass-rush role. Uche finished the night with two sacks of Allen, bringing his total to seven in his last four games.
Following a brief weekend respite, the Pats will begin their preparations for Week 14. The team will travel west for a Monday Night Football matchup with the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Dec. 12.
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