As the New England Patriots savor their 45-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, (improving their record to 6-4 on the 2021 season) they continue to take stock into their performance on both sides of the ball. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones went 19 of 23 passing for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Fellow rookie, Rhamondre Stevenson, rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns. On defense, the Patriots were solid at all three levels; against the run, as well as the pass. Safety Kyle Dugger also intercepted Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, as New England put forth a dominant performance on Sunday.
Heading into their Week Eleven matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, there are plenty of areas in which the Patriots will seek improvement. While game-film analysis will be the main focus, a look at playing time may assist the Pats in helping to devise effective strategies moving forward.
Here is a look at the Patriots offensive and defensive snap counts from Sunday’s matchup, along with some possible insight on New England’s future game-planning.
On offense, the Pats snap count was 67 on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns:
Along the offensive line, only center David Andrews and guard Ted Karras took 100 percent of the Patriots offensive snaps. In his return to the lineup, right tackle Trent Brown got the start, and played on 46 offensive snaps, 69 percent of the Pats’ offensive plays. In a move that raised a few eyebrows prior to kickoff, Michael Onwenu was used as a rotational reserve on Sunday, taking 26 offensive snaps, while also serving as eligible tight end on several occasions. Isaiah Wynn saw action on 87 percent of the Pats’ offensive output, and played a major role in helping to neutralize Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett. Overall, a solid performance from New England’s offensive line.
Tight end Hunter Henry led all eligible pass-catchers, by taking 55 offensive snaps. The 26-year-old continued to showcase his route-running abilities, primarily on option routes in the red-zone. Henry finished the day with 4 receptions for 37 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Second-year tight end Devin Asiasi made his regular-season debut on Sunday, taking 12 snaps, primarily in blocking assignments. Practice squad elevation Matt LaCosse also saw limited blocking duties, playing on nine of the Pats’ offensive snaps.
At wide receiver, Jakobi Meyers (48) nearly edged Nelson Agholor (47) for seeing the most action on the field for the Pats’ offense on Sunday. Meyers collected his first touchdown in Week Ten, finishing the day with 49 yards receiving on four catches
N’Keal Harry saw a season-high 35 offensive snaps, most of which in blocking fury against Cleveland’s sizable defensive front. His performance earned him the praise of his teammates, as well as head coach Bill Belichick. Still, the ‘award’ for making the most of his opportunities on Sunday went to Kendrick Bourne. In just 29 offensive snaps, Bourne finished the game with 43 yards rushing on three carries, as well as catching four passes for a career-high 98 yards and one touchdown.
With Damien Harris out of the lineup, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson was the feature back on Sunday; playing the role admirably. Stevenson rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns. He also contributed an additional 14 yards receiving. Pacing him for the afternoon was veteran Brandon Bolden, taking 18 snaps on offense and 10 on special teams. Second year rusher J.J. Taylor was also active, playing on 13 offensive snaps, and one on special teams.
On Sunday, the Patriots took a total of 59 snaps on defense against the Cleveland Browns:
While no Patriot defender took 100 percent of the team’s defensive snaps on Sunday, safety and team captain Devin McCourty led the way with 53, or 90 percent of New England’s defensive output. While Adrian Phillips held the second-place spot for defensive field-time on Sunday (46 snaps), Kyle Dugger was closely behind taking 43 snaps in a rotational role, rather than getting the start at base safety. Dugger’s interception of Browns’ quarterback Baker Mayfield in the first half was arguably the turning point for momentum in the Pats continued dominance from that point forward.
While J.C. Jackson may not have logged an interception on Sunday, ‘Mr. INT’ was still one of the Patriots top defensive players against the Browns in Week Ten. Leading all cornerbacks with 46 snaps, Jackson allowed zero catches on five targets (for zero yards) and was credited with two pass-break-ups. Despite leaving the field in the first half, as a result of a left arm injury, Jalen Mills returned to the lineup, finishing the day taking 40 snaps, primarily at outside corner, but some in the slot as well. Myles Bryant continues to see the majority of his time in the slot, seeing the field for 32 defensive snaps. Joejuan Williams filled in for Mills on the outside, taking a total of 28 snaps, as well as ten on special teams.
Christian Barmore once again led all defensive linemen by seeing action on 45 defensive snaps. The rookie defensive tackle was once again a force in applying pressure up the middle, and was credited with five quarterback hurries. Davon Godchaux also provided a solid presence in the middle, taking 33 defensive snaps. Standard elevation Tashawn Bower saw situational action at defensive end on Sunday, playing on 17 defensive snaps, and logging one quarterback sack.
Ja’Whaun Bentley led all linebackers in taking 45 snaps on defense for the Pats in Week Ten. As usual, Bentley was a presence in the middle of the linebacking corps, alongside Dont’a Hightower (37 snaps) in providing stout run defense and situational coverage. Matt Judon took 39 defensive snaps, and was credited with 0.5 sacks, allowing him to tie his career-high for sacks in one season.