Here are the Patriots snap counts from the 30-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in week 15.
Cameron Fleming is now the team’s #2 tight end
While LT Nate Solder, LG Joe Thuney, OC David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason, RT Marcus Cannon, and QB Tom Brady played all 68 offensive snaps, swing tackle Cameron Fleming played 18 snaps (26%), ahead of TE Matt Lengel (8 snaps, 12%). Fleming pairs with TE Martellus Bennett (53, 78%) in two tight end sets, which reduces the Patriots threat out of the play action- although it worked perfectly against the Ravens.
Julian Edelman is the #3 wide receiver
Chris Hogan (57, 84%) and Malcolm Mitchell (54, 79%) led the Patriots skill players in snaps, while Julian Edelman trailed Hogan, Mitchell, and Bennett with 47 snaps (69%). Mitchell has played 20 more snaps than Edelman over the past two weeks.
Why is Edelman in a reduced snap role? I think the Patriots are opting to remove him from clear running downs to reduce risk of possible foot injury.
ST Matthew Slater played 4 snaps on the kneeldown crew.
Dion Lewis is still working his way back to the rotation
Heralding the return of Lewis might have been premature. James White (29, 43%) and LeGarrette Blount (28, 41%) were the lead backs, while Lewis (17, 25%) had a reduced role. FB James Develin (25, 37%) saw more time than Lewis.
Chris Long has leapfrogged Rob Ninkovich in the pass rushing role
Long led the Patriots edge defenders with 46 snaps (66%), with Trey Flowers (44, 63%) close behind. Jabaal Sheard (36, 51%) actually played one snap more than Ninkovich (35, 50%).
Linebackers Kyle Van Noy (37, 53%) and Shea McClellin (33, 47%) split snaps next to Dont’a Hightower (70, 100%); Elandon Roberts played 1 snap. Defensive tackle Malcom Brown (38, 54%) led the way for the war daddies, ahead of Alan Branch (36, 51%) and Vincent Valentine (25, 36%).
Cyrus Jones played a career-high number of snaps
While S Patrick Chung (70, 100%), S Devin McCourty (70, 100%), CB Logan Ryan (70, 100%), and CB Malcolm Butler (66, 94%) played more of the snaps, Cyrus Jones saw 48 snaps (69%), easily the most of his young career. Cyrus had played just 92 defensive snaps all season. Fellow rookie CB Jonathan Jones played 10 snaps, while S Duron Harmon played 35 snaps (50%).
The following players saw 15+ snaps on special teams:
Shea McClellin (30), Nate Ebner (30), Geneo Grissom (29), Brandon Bolden (24), Barkevious Mingo (23), Brandon King (23), Jonathan Jones (21), Matthew Slater (20), Patrick Chung (16)