The Patriots have stopped with the Offensive Line rotations
Sebastian Vollmer, Josh Kline, David Andrews, and Cameron Fleming all played 100% of the snaps, and Tre Jackson was on his way until an injury forced the Patriots to plug Ryan Wendell back into the line-up. After rotating through the first few weeks of the year, the Patriots have rolled with a 100% line-up for two straight weeks. Injuries have forced their hands, with Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, and Shaq Mason unavailable for both games, but the team looks to be done with rotations.
Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski got the Star Treatment
The three most important players on the offense got to sit out the final four plays of the game, and some could include Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount in the same story. Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Dobson, and James White took the field for the final four snaps, which were the only snaps that Brady, Edelman, and Gronkowski didn't play all game.
Brandon LaFell is back at WR #2
Even though Danny Amendola (34 snaps) has come on strongly in recent weeks, Brandon LaFell (59 snaps) is back in the line-up as a starter. The drops couldn't put a damper on LaFell's comeback and he's going to only get better as he stays on the field. The Patriots have their five skill players with tight ends Michael Williams and Scott Chandler and wide receiver Danny Amendola sharing that fifth and final spot on the field.
Dion Lewis outsnapped LeGarrette Blount
Lewis is just a far more talented back and he say 39 snaps to Blount's 27. Blount has his role at the end of games, but there's no question that the offense is far better with Lewis on the field.
Logan Ryan played 100% of the snaps
The Patriots #2 cornerback played all 63 defensive snaps and was the only defender to do so. Devin McCourty (61) and Malcolm Butler (59) took a couple snaps off (newcomer Rashaan Melvin took Butler's four missing snaps). Ryan is definitely benefiting from his time on the field and he and Butler have really stepped into their roles as quality cornerbacks. This ain't the 2011 defense.
Cornerbacks outsnapped the safeties, but Patriots played a lot of dime
The cornerbacks combine for 180 snaps, while the safeties played 163. The safeties typically play when the opposing team has quality tight ends, but the Patriots featured cornerback Justin Coleman (54). The total snaps for defensive backs points to an average of 5.44 defensive backs at any given time, which translates into nearly 55% of the time in the nickel and 45% of the time in the dime. New England was playing far ahead and spent the game trying to bait Ryan Tannehill into making a throwing error.
Geneo Grissom was the third defensive end
Chandler Jones (56) and Rob Ninkovich (51) played a large portion of the game, but Geneo Grissom (19) played the snaps where the two veterans were on the sideline. This was probably Grissom's most impressive game and he's definitely taking advantage of his opportunities ahead of Trey Flowers. Special teams pay off, folks.
First round defensive tackles taking the leading roles
This is exactly what you want to see with your first round talents. Dominique Easley led defensive tackles with 32 snaps and Malcom Brown was second with 24. Alan Branch (16), Sealver Siliga (11), and Akiem Hicks (11) were pretty far behind. Brown is really coming into his own and Easley is an ace when allowed to rush the quarterback.
Jerod Mayo outsnapped Jonathan Freeny, both behind Jonathan Bostic
Finally! Mayo saw 10 snaps to Freeny's 7. Trade acquisition Jonathan Bostic saw 17 snaps. Dont'a Hightower (50) and Jamie Collins (46) were given some time off, but it's clear that the Patriots saw it was important to get their back-ups some time on the field.
These players had 15+ special teams snaps
Nate Ebner (24), Jonathan Bostic (21), Brandon Bolden (21), Duron Harmon (20), Matthew Slater (20), Brandon King (19), Patrick Chung (17), Jordan Richards (17), Jonathan Freeny (16)