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Week 12 Patriots vs Jets snap count report: Rob Gronkowski plays 69 snaps in his return because of course he does

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Some notes on the Patriots’ snap count numbers from their win over the Jets.

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are back on track thanks to a convincing 27-13 win against the New York Jets. While the visitors started the game rather slowly, they bounced back in the second half to secure their eighth win of the season. Along the way, all but one player on the 46-man game day roster — backup quarterback Brian Hoyer — saw action and contributed to the victory. Let’s take a look at the snap count numbers from the contest:

Rob Gronkowski was busy in his return to the field...

After missing three of the Patriots’ last four games due to ankle and back injuries, Rob Gronkowski returned to the field on Sunday and the team did not ease him back into the mix. The 29-year old was on the field for 69 of a possible 70 offensive snaps (99%) and was active as both a blocker in the running game, and as a target in the passing game: Gronkowski was targeted a team-high seven times and finished the day with three catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.

...and took snaps away from Josh Gordon and Chris Hogan

With Gronkowski playing a prominent role in the offense again, he cut into the playing time of two of the team’s wide receivers: Josh Gordon and Chris Hogan. Gordon still played 53 snaps (of 70; 76%) but his playing time percentage is his lowest since week five. Since that game, he was consistently over 80%. Hogan, meanwhile, was on the field for a season-low 28 snaps (40%). However, both players looked solid in their slightly different roles: Gordon caught five passes for 70 yards; Hogan two for 47.

The defensive edge rotation opposite Trey Flowers is alive and well

It is no surprise to see Trey Flowers play considerable snaps week in and week out: he is the Patriots’ best defensive lineman and pass rusher. As such, he was on the field for 60 of the team’s 64 defensive snaps (94%) against the Jets. The opposite end of the line, meanwhile, continues to see a rotation of multiple players. Adrian Clayborn (29; 45%), John Simon (27; 42%) and Deatrich Wise Jr. (25; 39%) were all moved in and out of the lineup yesterday.

New England’s new additions played big roles on special teams

The Patriots brought three players on board over the last month to help with kick coverage, an area in which the team struggled over the first 10 games of the season. All three of the new additions were active yesterday and played big roles in the kicking game: linebacker Ramon Humber played 19 of 27 special teams snaps (70%), while safety Obi Melifonwu and linebacker Albert McClellan played 17 each (63%). Melifonwu, who also played 8 of 64 snaps on defense (12%), registered a tackle on a kickoff return.

10 players were on the field for 100% of the snaps

While the aforementioned Gronkowski missed one offensive snap, six other men were on the field for all 70: the starting offensive line — Trent Brown, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon — did not leave the field; neither did quarterback Tom Brady. On defense, four players were present for all 64 snaps: cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty, as well as safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung.