David Andrews is out of the line-up
The Patriots pulled the undrafted rookie (23 snaps, 34%) in favor of Bryan Stork (51, 76%) and this is probably for the best. Stork is a bigger and stronger player, while Andrews still has room to grow. Josh Kline played 100% of the snaps (67) along with Marcus Cannon. Sebastian Vollmer (55, 82%) sat out the first drive in favor of Cameron Fleming (12, 18%) at right tackle. Shaq Mason (91%) played 61 snaps at left guard as the Patriots played a drive with Stork, Andrews, and Kline as the interior.
The team needs to move Cannon to the right side. It's time. He's not a good left tackle, but he works on the right side. Leave Vollmer on the left. Make the interior Mason, Stork, and Kline. That's the best line.
The skill players were scattered in the wind
Rob Gronkowski played 100%, but he was alone. Brandon LaFell (48, 72%) was behind Aaron Dobson (20, 30%) to start the game, but Dobson injured his ankle and was carted off the field. Danny Amendola (44, 66%) hurt his knee. Tight ends Scott Chandler (35, 52%) and Michael Williams (23, 34%) played a little bit, while the rookie Chris Harper (30, 45%) saw plenty of time. LeGarrette Blount (37, 55%) led running backs, while James White (18, 27%) deserves more time over Brandon Bolden (12, 18%).
The three defensive end rotation is back
Chandler Jones (63, 89%), Rob Ninkovich (52, 73%, and Jabaal Sheard (48, 68%) split time and they were fantastic at both making Tyrod Taylor uncomfortable in the pocket, but also ensuring that he was unable to break free.
There are three key defensive tackles, too
Malcom Brown (38, 54%) continues to lead the defensive tackles, but the game plan called for more Alan Branch (35, 49%) against the run-heavy Bills than pass specialist Dominique Easley (31, 44%). Akiem Hicks played 16 snaps (23%). Sealver Siliga's role moving forward will be interesting to monitor with Bill Belichick favorite Chris Jones available to return.
Jonathan Freeny is ahead of Jerod Mayo
Dont'a Hightower played 100% of the snaps (71) and Jamie Collins should return next week. It's still interesting to see Freeny (53, 75%) playing so much more than Mayo (16, 23%) when it seems fairly clear that Mayo is a much better player. Perhaps the Patriots think Freeny is more similar to Collins, while Mayo is more like Hightower. Let's hope this is the end of the linebacker rotation.
Tavon Wilson came out of nowhere
Raise your hand if you expected Wilson (50, 70%) to be a key part of the Patriots game plan, and then slap yourself if you raised your hand you filthy liar. Wilson played plenty of time as the slot corner, ahead of Rashaan Melvin (1 snap). Wilson and Duron Harmon (23, 32%) were the extra defensive backs, depending on the down and distance.
The Patriots starting secondary of Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty, Malcolm Butler, and Logan Ryan all logged 100% of the snaps (71).
These players played 15+ special teams snaps:
Jonathan Freeny (27), Nate Ebner (27), Matthew Slater (22), Brandon Bolden (22), Eric Martin (21), Brandon King (21), Patrick Chung (16)