clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Patriots vs. Dolphins snap counts: Who did New England rely on in the season opener?

Related: Patriots vs. Dolphins: New England drops season opener 20-7 to Miami

The New England Patriots opened up their regular season with a 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Let’s take a look at how the Patriots used their talent in Week 1.


Total snaps: 57

WR DeVante Parker* (57; 100%), G Michael Onwenu* (57; 100%), OT Trent Brown* (57; 100%), C David Andrews* (57; 100%), QB Mac Jones* (57; 100%), WR Jakobi Meyers* (50; 88%), G Cole Strange* (49; 86%), OT Isaiah Wynn* (47; 82%), TE Hunter Henry* (44; 77%), TE Jonnu Smith* (39; 68%), WR Nelson Agholor (33; 58%), RB Damien Harris* (22; 39%), RB Ty Montgomery II (21; 37%), RB Rhamondre Stevenson (14; 25%), OT Yodny Cajuste (10; 18%), G James Ferentz (8; 14%), WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey (3; 5%), WR Kendrick Bourne (2; 4%)

*denotes starter

We saw the starting offense take the field on Sunday for the entirety of the game and it failed to score double digits. DeVante Parker and Jakobi Meyers each drew a start and Nelson Agholor rotated in as the third wide receiver throughout the game. This meant that we barely saw Kendrick Bourne who played just two snaps; practice squad elevation Humphrey even logged one more snap than him. Bourne hauled in a pass for a 41-yard gain in his time on the field.

Up front, Michael Onwenu, Trent Brown and David Andrews played every possible offensive snap. Cole Strange and Isaiah Wynn started but were part of a rotation throughout the game to “keep guys fresh.” This meant that Yodny Cajuste and James Ferentz each saw playing time during this game. Ferentz was on the field at left guard during the fumble-six that put New England down 10-0.

All three of the Patriots’ running backs played under 40 percent of the snaps in this one. It was impressive to see Ty Montgomery play and log some decent production after being carted off in the last preseason game. Rhamondre Stevenson saw just 14 snaps despite being someone who people viewed as a major offensive piece for this roster.

New England went to a two-tight end set a lot in this game with Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith each playing over 65 percent of the snaps. They both had relatively quiet days, but it looks as if they will be on the field at the same time a lot more this season.

Lastly, Mac Jones sustained a back injury in this game but still managed to play all 57 snaps on offense.


Total snaps: 60

S Devin McCourty* (60; 100%), CB Jalen Mills* (58; 97%), S Kyle Dugger* (51; 85%), DE Deatrich Wise Jr.* (50; 83%), LB Matthew Judon* (49; 82%), CB Jonathan Jones* (47; 78%), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley* (43; 72%), LB Raekwon McMillan* (42; 70%), DT Davon Godchaux* (35; 58%), DT Christian Barmore (33; 55%), DT Lawrence Guy* (32; 53%), CB Myles Bryant (31; 52%), S Adrian Phillips* (27; 45%), LB Mack Wilson Sr. (21; 35%), S Jabrill Peppers (18; 30%), LB Jahlani Tavai (17; 28%), LB Josh Uche (17; 28%), DT Carl Davis Jr. (14; 23%), CB Jack Jones (11, 18%), CB Marcus Jones (4; 7%)

*denotes starter

The starting defense held up its end of the bargain in this one, allowing just 13 points (the Dolphins defense scored the other seven). Devin McCourty, Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips all started for New England at safety but an injury to Phillips knocked him out of the game. He plays more of a rover role, so this led to increased play for Mack Wilson Jr. and Jabrill Peppers, who were relatively quiet while on the field.

The linebacker snap breakdown is a bit of a surprise, meanwhile. Raekwon McMillan started and played 42 of 60 possible snaps; he was primarily in the middle while Ja’Whaun Bentley was moved all over the place and Matthew Judon lined up on the edge. Jahlani Tavai was in a similar role to Bentley and bounced between the middle and on the edge for his 17 snaps.

The Patriots cornerbacks did not have the best day as Jalen Mills and Jonathan Jones started on the outside with Myles Bryant primarily as the slot corner. Rookie Jack Jones did see 11 snaps but gave up a big play to Tyreek Hill on what should have been a relatively easy interception.

Special Teams

Total snaps: 19

S Cody Davis (18; 95%), WR Matthew Slater (18; 95%), LB Jahlani Tavai (15; 79%), LB Mack Wilson Sr. (12; 63%), S Jabrill Peppers (11; 58%), S Kyle Dugger (10; 53%), CB Myles Bryant (10; 53%), S Brenden Schooler (10; 53%), CB Jonathan Jones (8; 37%), DT Lawrence Guy (8; 37%), RB Ty Montgomery II (7; 37%), LB Matthew Judon (7; 37%), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (7; 37%), DE DaMarcus Mitchell (7; 37%), P Jake Bailey (6; 32%), DE Deatrich Wise Jr. (5; 26%), S Adrian Phillips (5; 26%), LB Josh Uche (5; 26%), TE Jonnu Smith (4; 21%), DT Davon Godchaux (4; 21%), LS Joe Cardona (4; 21%), CB Jalen Mills (3; 16%), WR DeVante Parker (1; 5%), G Michael Onwenu (1; 5%), OT Trent Brown (1; 5%), WR Jakobi Meyers (1; 5%), G Cole Strange (1; 5%), OT Isaiah Wynn (1; 5%), TE Hunter Henry (1; 5%), OT Yodny Cajuste (1; 5%), WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey (1; 5%), WR Kendrick Bourne (1; 5%), S Devin McCourty (1; 5%), DT Carl Davis Jr. (1; 5%), LB Harvey Langi (1; 5%), K Nick Folk (1; 5%)

The special teams unit was led by Cody Davis and Matthew Slater who both played 95 percent of the snaps. Tavai was also a part of this unit a lot, logging 15 snaps for a grand total of 32 on the day.

Jake Bailey had a nice day punting while Nick Folk only saw the field for one extra point attempt that he cashed in on. Special teams were not in any way the reason the Patriots lost as the units had a good day overall.


QB Bailey Zappe, RB Pierre Strong Jr., G Chasen Hines, LB Anfernee Jennings, DT Sam Roberts, CB Shaun Wade, S Joshuah Bledsoe

Bailey Zappe, Pierre Strong Jr., Chasen Hines and Sam Roberts are all rookies and likely will not play any major roles this year. Shaun Wade and Joshuah Bledsoe are in their second seasons and were basically redshirted last year; both were listed as questionable heading into the weekend due to injury. Anfernee Jennings is in his third year but had limited playing time his rookie year and missed all of last season with an injury.

Basically, New England’s most experienced guys were on the field Sunday, and it did not make much of a difference.

The only real surprise inactive in this group is Jennings. The edge linebacker saw a lot of work in the preseason with the Patriots’ starting defensive unit. It is a little confusing that he went from looking like he would play some sort of important role to being in street clothes in the opener.