Wearing their red throwback jerseys, the New England Patriots left the Detroit Lions no chance on Sunday. Led by rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe in his first career start, and with the defense playing lights-out throughout the day, the Patriots beat their opponent with a final score of 29-0 to improve to 2-3 on the year.
Let’s take a look at the snap count breakdown from Sunday’s game.
Total snaps: 60
QB Bailey Zappe* (60; 100%), LT Trent Brown* (60; 100%), LG Cole Strange* (60; 100%), C David Andrews* (60; 100%), RG Michael Onwenu* (60; 100%), RT Isaiah Wynn* (60; 100%), TE Hunter Henry* (59; 98%), RB Rhamondre Stevenson (54; 90%), WR Jakobi Meyers (48; 80%), WR Kendrick Bourne (34; 57%), WR DeVante Parker* (31; 52%), WR Tyquan Thornton (25; 42%), WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey (14; 23%), OT Marcus Cannon* (12; 20%), TE Matt Sokol (8; 13%), WR Nelson Agholor* (7; 12%), RB Damien Harris* (6; 10%), WR Matthew Slater (2; 3%)
Bailey Zappe and the entire offensive line went wire-to-wire in this one, playing all 60 snaps. As opposed to last week’s game in Green Bay, right tackle Isaiah Wynn went the whole way and did not rotate in and out with veteran Marcus Cannon.
Rhamondre Stevenson ended up logging a season-high 54 snaps with Damien Harris being forced to exit after just six due to a hamstring injury. The sophomore Stevenson was the only healthy back after the injury and this led to a career-best 161 rushing yards on 25 attempts.
The Patriots had six wide receivers (seven if you count Matthew Slater) active on Sunday which led to some interesting usage. Jakobi Meyers led the way with 48 snaps in his return from a knee injury, with Kendrick Bourne logging the next highest total at 34. This was good for his season high, but did result in a relatively quiet day.
DeVante Parker, meanwhile, played a season-low 31 snaps which might have partially been due to the recent activation of rookie Tyquan Thornton. The second-round pick ended up seeing 25 offensive plays and secured his first two career catches. In addition to the receivers, starting tight end Henry saw his highest playing time share this season with 59 snaps; he turned out his best game to date.
Total snaps: 66
DE Deatrich Wise Jr.* (58; 88%), S Devin McCourty* (58; 88%), LB Jahlani Tavai* (52; 79%), CB Jalen Mills* (46; 70%), S Adrian Phillips* (44; 67%), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley* (40; 61%), DT Davon Godchaux* (40; 61%), CB Jack Jones (40; 61%), S Kyle Dugger* (38; 58%), CB Jonathan Jones* (38; 58%), DT Christian Barmore* (36; 55%), LB Matthew Judon* (36; 55%), CB Myles Bryant (33; 50%), S Jabrill Peppers (25; 38%), LB Josh Uche (25; 38%), LB Anfernee Jennings (22; 33%), LB Raekwon McMillan (21; 32%), DT Daniel Ekuale (18; 27%), DT Sam Roberts (17; 26%), CB Marcus Jones (15; 23%), DT Carl Davis Jr. (14; 21%), LB Mack Wilson Sr. (9; 14%)
Once again, Deatrich Wise Jr. led the defensive line with 58 of a possible 66 snaps played. Davon Godchaux and Christian Barmore each played big roles of their own, notching 40 and 36 plays, respectively. Sixth-round rookie Roberts saw the first 17 defensive snaps of his career and looked solid in a rotational role.
Jahlani Tavai surprisingly played the most snaps out of all the New England linebackers with 52. This topped Ja’Whaun Bentley’s 40 and Matthew Judon’s 38 in what was a bit of a revenge game for the former Lion. Raekwon McMillan and Mack Wilson Sr. each had marginal roles in this one, taking just 21 and 9 snaps.
The Patriots’ secondary saw Devin McCourty leave the field for the first time this season as he played “only” 58 snaps. Adrian Phillips and Kyle Dugger each started alongside him, lining up for 44 and 38 defensive plays.
Jalen Mills led all of the cornerbacks with 46 snaps after missing last week's contest. Jack Jones was next in line with 40, while Jonathan Jones saw 38 before leaving with an ankle issue. The biggest story in the secondary has to be the fact that rookie Marcus Jones saw 15 snaps as the slot corner, taking away some opportunities from Myles Bryant (33).
Total snaps: 19
P Jake Bailey (16; 84%), WR Matthew Slater (12; 63%), LB Mack Wilson Sr. (12; 63%), S Cody Davis (12; 63%), S Brenden Schooler (12; 63%), LB Jahlani Tavai (11; 58%), LB Raekwon McMillan (11; 58%), S Jabrill Peppers (10; 53%), LB Anfernee Jennings (10; 53%), LS Joe Cardona (9; 47%), DE Deatrich Wise Jr. (8; 42%), S Adrian Phillips (8; 42%), S Kyle Dugger (8; 42%), CB Myles Bryant (8; 42%), G Cole Strange (7; 37%), OT Isaiah Wynn (7; 37%), G Michael Onwenu (7; 37%), OT Trent Brown (7; 37%), OT Marcus Cannon (7; 37%), DT Carl Davis Jr. (7; 37%), K Nick Folk (7; 37%), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (3; 16%), LB Josh Uche (3; 16%), CB/PR/KR Marcus Jones (3; 16%), CB Jack Jones (2; 11%), WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey (1; 5%), TE Matt Sokol (1; 5%),
This was the lightest special teams day this season in terms players used (27). This is mostly due to the fact that the Lions turned the ball over on downs six times and forced New England to punt just twice all day.
Jake Bailey handled the punting, holding, and kickoff duties which was good for a team-high 16 special teams snaps. Matthew Slater, Mack Wilson Sr., Cody Davis and Brenden Schooler were all tied for the second highest total with 12. Nick Folk played just 7 snaps but accounted for 17 Patriot points on the day.
Did not play
QB Garrett Gilbert, OL Chasen Hines, OL James Ferentz
Garrett Gilbert was elevated from the practice squad for this game and luckily did not have to see action as the backup behind Bailey Zappe. Offensive linemen Chasen Hines and James Ferentz being DNPs is becoming a trend this season and should continue as long as the starters stay healthy.
QB Mac Jones, RB Pierre Strong Jr., TE Jonnu Smith, DT Lawrence Guy Sr., LB DeMarcus Mitchell, CB Shaun Wade, S Joshuah Bledsoe
The Patriots had seven inactives for Sunday’s contest, with four of them usually playing rather large roles.
Mac Jones is the team’s starting quarterback but was out for second consecutive week due to an ankle injury. Jonnu Smith regularly sees a lot of time in two-tight end sets, and he also missed this game with an ankle issue (which led to the practice squad elevation of Matt Sokol).
Lawrence Guy missed his second consecutive game with a shoulder injury, but the hope is that he will be back next week against the Cleveland Browns. Core special teamer DaMarcus Mitchell was out due to a concussion, but luckily New England did not have to punt very much in this one.
As for the other three inactives, they were all healthy scratches. Pierre Strong Jr.’s inactivity almost proved costly as Damien Harris was injured during the game, leaving Rhamondre Stevenson as the healthy running back. Shaun Wade and Joshuah Bledsoe both have not really had roles this season and were healthy scratches as well.