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Week 3 Patriots vs Jaguars: Snap Counts and Depth Opportunities

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The Patriots were able to rest their starters in the fourth quarter and the younger players took advantage of their opportunities.

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Center David Andrews is the last remaining iron man

With quarterback Tom Brady yielding to Jimmy Garoppolo for a few kneel downs, the Patriots undrafted rookie is the only offensive player to participate in every single snap through three games. Does this mean anything for Bryan Stork later in the year? Maybe not. But Bill Belichick has never been afraid to play an undrafted player ahead of a 2nd year 4th round pick.

Marcus Cannon was on the field for 49% of the snaps

After rewatching the game, Cannon wasn't as bad as initially believed. He's actually been pretty good in pass protection; some of the pressures that look bad on first viewings turn out to be a matter of perspective and the pass rusher was never actually a threat to Tom Brady. Cannon still struggled as a run blocker, in my view, but he's not as much of a drive killer as we think. Nate Solder played 86% of the snaps and Sebastian Vollmer played 78%.

Shaq Mason continues to grow in the offense

While the rookie left guard still has plenty of room to grow, he's increased his play time from 59% in week 1, to 66% in week 2, and to 75% in week 3. He has nearly 50 more snaps than fellow draftee Tre Jackson (57%, 31%, 57%) and looks more and more comfortable in pass protection. Josh Kline saw his fewest snaps with just 67%, although that's related to the Patriots 4th quarter drive where they rested key starters and used both Mason and Jackson at guard.

Aaron Dobson and Danny Amendola will rotate according to game plans

After breaking out against the Bills, Dobson saw his role reduce from 81% of the snaps to 54% against the Jaguars. Amendola increased from 42% to 67%, and Keshawn Martin played 44% of the snaps. Similar to the Patriots game plan against the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, New England wanted to feature wide receivers that offered lateral quickness instead of vertical.

Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount split snaps at running back

Lewis played 43% of the snaps and Blount took 38%. James White took 21%. Look for the Patriots to treat Lewis and Blount as this year's Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley duo. While it might infuriate fantasy users, both running backs are now absolutely involved in the offense.

Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan went wire to wire

While the offense played 81 snaps, the defense only played 57 snaps. Butler and Ryan acted as the team's starting cornerbacks while veteran Tarell Brown was the only active player not to see the field. Justin Coleman played 74% of the snaps as the nickelback and he fared well until the final drive. The fact that Brown didn't play doesn't bode well for Bradley Fletcher, who was a healthy scratch.

Jordan Richards played 30 snaps, same as Patrick Chung

It was great to see the Patriots rookie safety on the field and he played pretty well. In comparison, Duron Harmon only played 19 snaps. Devin McCourty played 50 snaps. The emergence of Richards as a viable member of the defense means that Tavon Wilson risks being a healthy scratch for the remainder of the season.

Jabaal Sheard led defensive linemen with 48 snaps (84%)

Rob Ninkovich had plenty of rest with just 39 snaps (68%), and Chandler Jones had even more with 33 snaps (58%). The Patriots rotated all of their defensive lineman with different alignments and packages. Dominique Easley led defensive tackles with 32 snaps, with Sealver Siliga (23), Malcom Brown (22), and Alan Branch (17) in rotational roles.

The following special teams players saw 15+ snaps

Dekoda Watson (22), Brandon Bolden (20), Patrick Chung (20), Nate Ebner (20), Matthew Slater (19), Devin McCourty (19), Jordan Richards (19), Jonathan Freeney (19), Stephen Gostkowski (19)