Despite struggling in the trenches and losing the time-of-possession battle, the Patriots were able to hand in a respectable performance by way of an utterly dominant pass defense that picked off Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson four times.
During the game at MetLife Stadium, we got a better glimpse at how New England intends to use its roster moving forward and were introduced to a few players in new roles. We even saw a third-year player make his in-game NFL debut. Let’s find out how New England used its roster on offense, defense and special teams.
Total snaps: 58
QB Mac Jones (58; 100%), OT Isaiah Wynn (58; 100%), OG Michael Onwenu (58; 100%), OG Shaq Mason (58; 100%), C David Andrews (58; 100%), WR Jakobi Meyers (52; 90%), WR Nelson Agholor (50; 86%), TE Hunter Henry (47; 81%). OT Yasir Durant (31; 53%), WR Kendrick Bourne (31; 53%), OT Justin Herron, (30; 52%), TE Jonnu Smith (29; 50%), RB James White (29; 50%), RB Damien Harris (24; 41%), FB Jakob Johnson (15; 26%), WR Gunner Olszewski (5; 9%), RB J.J. Taylor (5; 9%)
Quarterback Mac Jones, tackle Isaiah Wynn, guard Michael Onwenu, guard Shaq Mason, and center David Andrews all went wire-to-wire on Sunday, marking the second straight week in which they did so. Much like the game against Miami, they worked with multiple right tackles as Yasir Durant and Justin Herron split time at that spot throughout the game.
James White saw an uptick in snaps, leading the running back group with 29 snaps played. Damien Harris followed behind closely, with 24, touching the ball on all but seven of those snaps. J.J. Taylor only played five offensive snaps but received two carries.
The receiving corps saw a fairly even split of the workload. Jakobi Meyers led all wide receiver in snaps played with 52, but both Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne each played over 50% of the teams offensive snaps. Hunter Henry played 18 more snaps than Jonnu Smith, as Smith spent some time on the sidelines with an injury.
Total snaps: 73
S Devin McCourty (75; 100%), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (68; 93%), LB Dont’a Hightower (60; 82%), DB Jalen Mills (56; 77%), S Kyle Dugger (55; 75%), S Adrian Phillips (55; 75%), LB Matt Judon (50; 68%), CB J.C. Jackson (49; 67%), CB Jonathan Jones (46; 63%), DL Deatrich Wise Jr. (42; 58%), DT Christian Barmore (40, 55%), LB Josh Uche (35; 48%), CB Joejuan Williams (33; 45%), DT Lawrence Guy (28; 38%), DT Davon Godchaux (28; 38%), LB Chase Winovich (20; 27%), DL Henry Anderson (18; 25%), DT Carl Davis (15; 21%), LB Tashawn Bower (15; 21%), LB Harvey Langi (9; 12%), DB Justin Bethel (8; 11%)
Devin McCourty is once again the teams iron man, playing more snaps than anyone else with 76 total. The secondary around him played through a pretty significant rotation; however, as Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, and Joejuan Williams all played 30+ snaps.
The linebacker group was led by Ja’Whaun Bentley, who played 68 snaps. Bentley mostly stayed on the field because New England played the majority of the game in their “big nickel” package, where he is the top linebacker. Dont’a Hightower, Matt Judon, and Josh Uche all played 30+ snaps as well.
Deatrich Wise Jr., being the teams only true 3-4 defensive end, led the defensive line in snaps played with 42. Christian Barmore was a close second, and led the defensive interior with 40 snaps played, more than Lawrence Guy (28), Davon Godchaux (28), Henry Anderson (18), and Carl Davis (15) in just his second career game.
Total snaps: 25
ST Matthew Slater (19; 76%), P Jake Bailey (18; 72%), ST Cody Davis (18; 72%), DB Justin Bethel (18; 72%), RB Brandon Bolden (15; 60%), LB Harvey Langi (14; 56%), WR Gunner Olszewski (11; 44%), CB Jonathan Jones (11; 44%), LS Joe Cardona (11; 44%), DT Lawrence Guy (10; 40%), S Kyle Dugger (9; 36%), LB Chase Winovich (9; 36%), DL Henry Anderson (9; 36%), S Adrian Phillips (8; 32%), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (8; 32%), FB Jakob Johnson (7; 28%), K Nick Folk (6; 24%), OT Isaiah Wynn (6; 24%), OG Michael Onwenu (6; 24%), OG Shaq Mason (6; 24%), OT Yasir Durant (6; 24%), OL Ted Karras (6; 24%), OT Justin Herron (5; 20%), LB Dont’a Hightower (5; 20%), LB Matt Judon (4; 16%), DT Davon Godchaux (4; 1CB Joejuan Williams (2; 8%), WR Jakobi Meyers (1; 4%), TE Hunter Henry (1; 4%), TE Jonnu Smith (1; 4%), RB James White (1; 4%), S Devin McCourty (1; 4%), OT Yodny Cajuste (1; 4%)
The Patriots always have a crowded group on special teams as they expect the majority of their roster to contribute. 33 players played at least one snap on special teams, including Yodny Cajuste, who made his NFL debut on a field goal attempt.
Kicker Nick Folk, punter Jake Bailey, long snapper Joe Cardona, special teamer’s Matthew Slater and Cody Davis, running back Brandon Bolden, and offensive lineman Ted Karras and Yondy Cajuste were the players who played exclusively on special teams.
Did not play
QB Brian Hoyer
Good news for the Patriots, as their backup quarterback didn’t see the field for the second straight week. While using the rest of their roster on offense, defense, and special teams, Hoyer served his role as mentor to Mac Jones to perfection.
LB Ronnie Perkins, RB Rhamondre Stevenson, TE Devin Asiasi, OT Trent Brown, CB Shaun Wade, LB Kyle Van Noy
There were a few new absences this week. Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson was a healthy scratch following his fumble in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins, while tackle Trent Brown and linebacker Kyle Van Noy were new to the inactive group after popping up on the injury report. Rookies Ronnie Perkins and Shaun Wade joined second-year tight end Devin Asiasi as players who made the list for the second straight week.