The New England Patriots steamrolled the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday and when the two teams’ divisional playoff game was done, the home team came out on top with a score of 41-28. Let’s dig a little deeper into the snap count numbers from the Patriots’ blowout win — their 12th victory of the season — to get an impression of how they used their personnel.
Total snaps: 83
OT Trent Brown (83; 100%), OT Marcus Cannon (83; 100%), OG Joe Thuney (83; 100%), OC David Andrews (83; 100%), QB Tom Brady (83; 100%), WR Julian Edelman (80; 96%), OG Shaq Mason (80; 96%), TE Rob Gronkowski (77; 93%), WR Chris Hogan (76; 92%), RB James White (38; 46%), WR Phillip Dorsett (38; 46%), RB Sony Michel (36; 43%), FB James Develin (27; 33%), TE Dwayne Allen (18; 22%), RB Rex Burkhead (11; 13%), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (11; 13%), OG Ted Karras (3; 4%), WR Matthew Slater (2; 2%), OT LaAdrian Waddle (1; 1%)
Four members of the Patriots offense went the distance yesterday: the starting offensive line with the exception of Shaq Mason, who briefly left the game with an undisclosed injury, and quarterback Tom Brady. Brady going wire-to-wire is interesting considering that the game was pretty much wrapped up by the third quarter.
The Patriots’ wide receiver group consisted mostly of Julian Edelman, who had a fantastic game and caught nine passes for 151 yards, and Chris Hogan. Behind the top duo, Phillip Dorsett served as the third option on not quite half the offensive snaps. Cordarrelle Patterson was used sparingly and touched the football only once on a three-yard run.
New England invested a lot in its ground game yesterday, running on 33 occasions. Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen served mostly as blockers, as did James Develin, who was on the field for most of New England’s running plays. The ball carriers themselves were mostly James White and Sony Michel, with their roles clearly defined: White, who caught 15 passes, served as the receiving back, Michel the bell-cow runner.
Total snaps: 71
SS Patrick Chung (70; 99%), FS Devin McCourty (70; 99%), LB Kyle Van Noy (70; 99%), LB Dont’a Hightower (69; 97%), CB Stephon Gilmore (68; 96%), CB J.C. Jackson (67; 94%), CB Jason McCourty (65; 92%), DT Adam Butler (52; 73%), DE Trey Flowers (52; 73%), DE Adrian Clayborn (50; 70%), DE John Simon (40; 56%), SS Duron Harmon (32; 45%), DE Derek Rivers (19; 27%), DT Malcom Brown (17; 24%), DT Lawrence Guy (16; 23%), CB Jonathan Jones (8; 11%), LB Elandon Roberts (8; 11%), DT Danny Shelton (7; 10%)
While the Patriots’ run stoppers — Malcom Brown, Elandon Roberts, Danny Shelton — saw some action near the goal line, the Patriots were mostly in a pass defense. As a result, interior pass rusher Adam Butler tied Trey Flowers for the team lead in defensive line snaps: both players performed very well and were a big reason why Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was under duress all day long.
The rest of the front seven saw plenty of Adrian Clayborn and John Simon at the defensive edges, with Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower playing their usual high number of snaps and lining up all over the place. Both were terrific and active as blitzers against an L.A. offensive line that struggled all day to establish a run presence or consistently give its quarterback time.
In the secondary, the usual suspects were on the field. New England was mostly in a nickel alignment with Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson as the boundary cornerbacks, and Jason McCourty the number three in the slot. Together with Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty they effectively shut down the Chargers’ talented passing game for most of the day.
Total snaps: 34
SS Nate Ebner (27; 79%), RB Rex Burkhead (25, 74%), LB Brandon King (23; 68%), WR Matthew Slater (23; 68%), LB Albert McClellan (23; 68%), LB Ramon Humber (22; 65%), CB Jonathan Jones (22; 65%), SS Patrick Chung (19; 56%), K Stephen Gostkowski (15; 44%), CB Keion Crossen (14; 41%), P Ryan Allen (13; 38%), FS Devin McCourty (13; 38%), LS Joe Cardona (13; 38%), FB James Develin (11; 32%), DT Adam Butler (11; 32%), LB Kyle Van Noy (10; 29%), DT Lawrence Guy (9; 26%), WR Julian Edelman (8; 24%), OT Trent Brown (7; 21%), OT Marcus Cannon (7; 21%), OG Joe Thuney (7; 21%), OG Ted Karras (7; 21%), OT LaAdrian Waddle (7; 21%), LB Dont’a Hightower (7; 21%), OG Shaq Mason (6; 18%), WR Chris Hogan (5; 15%), RB James White (5; 15%), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (3; 9%), CB Jason McCourty (3; 9%), TE Rob Gronkowski (2; 6%), DE John Simon (2; 6%), DT Malcom Brown (2; 6%), DT Danny Shelton (2; 6%), OC David Andrews (1; 3%)
New England used its typically high number of players in the kicking game. Eight of them exclusive entered the field on special teams: Nate Ebner, Brandon King, Albert McClellan, Ramon Humber, Keion Crossen and the three specialists — Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Joe Cardona — did not play snaps in other phases of the game. Fellow core guys Matthew Slater, Rex Burkhead and Jonathan Jones, on the other hand, did.
Welcome to Pats Pulpit Live: Victory Edition! The Patriots whooped the Chargers 41-22 and will be heading to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in next week's AFC Championship Game!Posted by Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News on Sunday, January 13, 2019