Coming off one of their best games of the season, the New England Patriots played arguably their worst against the Tennessee Titans. The team was overwhelmed in all three phases and as a result blown out 34-10. Along the way, all 46 players on the game-day roster saw time on the field. Let’s take a look at the snap count numbers from the contest:
The offensive line had plenty of moving pieces
After the Patriots already deactivated starting right guard Shaq Mason on Saturday, the team saw plenty of movement along its offensive line during the game. Left tackle Trent Brown played just 38 of 66 snaps (58%) after dealing with illness and back issues, while right tackle Marcus Cannon also had to leave the game for four snaps at one point (62; 94%). Meanwhile, backup LaAdrian Waddle was on the field for 35 snaps (53%), as only two men — guards Joe Thuney and Ted Karras — did not leave it once. The result of all the moving parts was an inconsistent performance in both the running and the passing game.
Chris Hogan still holds the number three receiver spot
He was targeted just once all day, but Chris Hogan still appears to firmly hold onto the third receiver spot — at least that’s what he did yesterday. The veteran was on the field for 54 snaps (82%), the same number as Julian Edelman and just one fewer than Josh Gordon. Behind the top trio, Phillip Dorsett had his busiest day since week five: the 25-year old played 15 of 66 snaps (23%) while finishing with two receptions for 18 yards.
New England was focused on stopping the run... and unsuccessful
A look at the Patriots’ defensive personnel shows that New England was trying its best to stop the run. Nickel and dime defensive backs Duron Harmon (23 of 65; 35%) and Jonathan Jones (22; 34%) were only used in specific packages, while pass rushing linemen Adam Butler (12; 18%) and Adrian Clayborn (8; 12%) had a limited impact. Meanwhile, New England’s bigger run stoppers up front saw regular time on the field. Despite the defense’s attempts at making Tennessee one-dimensional, the Titans still rushed for 150 yards on 36 attempts.
Sony Michel had a light workload in his return
After missing two games because of a knee injury, first-round running back Sony Michel returned to the field on Sunday. The rookie had a relatively quiet day: he was on the field for just 17 snaps (of 66; 26%) and carried the football 11 times for 31 yards. The team was obviously easing him back into the lineup, so a bigger workload should be expected to come Michel’s way after the bye week.
Just three players were on the field for 100% of the snaps
Considering the game’s blowout nature, it was not surprise to see the Patriots pull starters late in the game. Quarterback Tom Brady and center David Andrews, for example, played just 88% of snaps (58 of 66) while only two offensive players went wire-to-wire: the aforementioned Joe Thuney — now the only remaining player with a playing time share of 100% on the year — and Ted Karras played all 66 snaps. On defense, meanwhile, cornerback Jason McCourty was the only player to not sit out one of the unit’s 65 snaps.