The New England Patriots won a big game against the Miami Dolphins by a score of 23-21 and are now back in the playoff picture. With a record of 8-8, they control their own destiny going into Week 18.
Let’s take a look at the snap count breakdown from the game to see how New England used its talent in the win.
Total snaps: 60
QB Mac Jones* (60; 100%), LT Trent Brown* (60; 100%), LG Cole Strange* (60; 100%), C David Andrews* (60; 100%), RG Michael Onwenu* (60; 100%), RT Conor McDermott* (60; 100%), TE Hunter Henry* (60; 100%), WR Tyquan Thornton* (56; 93%), WR Jakobi Meyers* (49; 82%), RB Rhamondre Stevenson* (34; 57%), RB Damien Harris (29; 48%), WR Kendrick Bourne (28; 47%), WR Nelson Agholor* (27; 45%), TE Matt Sokol (10; 17%), OL/TE James Ferentz (3; 5%), RB Pierre Strong Jr. (2; 3%), WR Matthew Slater (2; 3%)
Mac Jones and the entire offensive line continue to play every possible snap. Hunter Henry also managed to play all 60 snaps in this game with the injury to Jonnu Smith.
Rhamondre Stevenson played just 34 snaps in this game with the return of Damien Harris. Harris was able to log 29 and contribute positively on the ground; he gained 32 yards on nine carries.
Tyquan Thornton led all wide receivers with 56 snaps and caught a touchdown in this game. Jakobi Meyers was right behind him with 49 plays, and he also hauled in a score. After a big performance last week, Kendrick Bourne only played 28 snaps — a relatively confusing usage once again.
Total snaps: 71
CB Myles Bryant* (71; 100%), S Devin McCourty* (71; 100%), S Kyle Dugger* (65; 92%), CB Jonathan Jones* (61; 86%), LB Matthew Judon* (56; 79%), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley* (55; 77%), DE Deatrich Wise Jr.* (51; 72%), S Jabrill Peppers* (45; 63%), S Adrian Phillips (45, 63%), LB Jahlani Tavai* (34; 48%), LB Josh Uche (34; 48%), DT Davon Godchaux* (34; 48%), DT Christian Barmore (33; 46%), DT Lawrence Guy Sr.* (32; 45%), LB Raekwon McMillan (25; 35%), CB Tae Hayes (24; 34%), LB Anfernee Jennings (18; 25%), Daniel Ekuale (18; 25%), DT Carl Davis Jr. (8; 11%), CB Quandre Mosely (1; 1%)
The defensive line is constantly rotating, but Deatrich Wise Jr. continues to see regular action. On Sunday, he led the group with 51 reps. Davon Godchaux and Christian Barmore were neck and neck with 34 and 33 snaps each, while Lawrence Guy played 32. Carl Davis was also able to make an impact in just eight snaps.
Matthew Judon led all linebackers, with Ja’Whaun Bentley right behind him. Jahlani Tavai played 34 snaps and continues to build on a solid year, whereas Josh Uche was quiet in this game; he played 34 primarily pass-rushing downs and notched one quarterback hit.
The secondary was banged up heading into this game, which led to Myles Bryant being out there for all 71 snaps. Jonathan Jones managed 61 snaps as he had to leave with an injury at one point in the fourth quarter. Tae Hayes stepped up and was out there for 24 plays after being promoted from the practice squad earlier in the week. Game-day elevation Quandre Mosely chipped in one snap as well.
In what might have been his final game at Gillette Stadium, Devin McCourty was out there for all 71 defensive snaps. Kyler Dugger played 65 and made the biggest play of the game with a pick-six in the third period. Jabrill Peppers and Adrian Phillips each had big roles in this game as well, getting 45 snaps apiece.
Total snaps: 27
WR Matthew Slater (23; 85%), S Brenden Schooler (22; 81%), LB Jahlani Tavai (20; 74%), S Jabrill Peppers (19; 70%), S Adrian Phillips (18; 67%), LB Mack Wilson Sr. (18; 67%), LB Raekwon McMillan (17; 63%), LB DaMarcus Mitchell (17; 63%), RB/KR Pierre Strong Jr. (13; 48%), WR Raleigh Webb (11; 41%), CB/PR Myles Bryant (10; 37%), DE Deatrich Wise Jr. (10; 37%), LS Tucker Addington (9; 33%), P/H Michael Palardy (9; 33%), K/KO Nick Folk (9; 33%), S Kyle Dugger (8; 30%), CB Jonathan Jones (8; 30%), DT Carl Davis Jr. (8; 30%), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (6; 22%), LB Anfernee Jennings (6; 22%), G Cole Strange (4; 15%), OT Conor McDermott (4; 15%), G Michael Onwenu (4; 15%), OT Trent Brown (4; 15%), OL James Ferentz (4; 15%), DT Daniel Ekuale (4; 15%), TE Matt Sokol (3; 11%), LB Josh Uche (3; 11%), S Devin McCourty (2; 7%), TE Hunter Henry (1; 4%), RB Rhamondre Stevenson (1; 4%), WR Kendrick Bourne (1; 4%), S Joshuah Bledsoe (1; 4%)
Just like Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater also may have played his last game at Gillette Stadium. He was on the field for two kneel-downs on offense as well as a team-leading 23 plays and two tackles on special teams. Brenden Schooler was right there with him at 22 snaps, registering one takedown but also drawing a costly running-into-the-kicker penalty.
Michael Palardy and Nick Fold each played nine snaps and continue to be shaky at best. Palardy has struggled big-time punting the ball, while Folk missed yet another extra point.
Did not play
QB Bailey Zappe, OL Kody Russey, OT Yodny Cajuste
Bailey Zappe was not needed in this game as Mac Jones went the whole way. Kody Russey continues to not see snaps as a strict emergency option along the interior O-line. Yodny Cajuste also did not see the field; he was neither used as a sixth offensive linemen nor on special teams.
RB Kevin Harris, WR Devante Parker, TE Jonnu Smith, DT Sam Roberts, CB Jalen Mills, CB Marcus Jones, CB Shaun Wade
New England was missing multiple pieces on offense, starting with wide receiver Devante Parker and tight end Jonnu Smith, who were both out with a concussion. Rookie running back Kevin Harris was a healthy scratch with three other running backs healthy.
On the defensive side of things, they were without four cornerbacks: Jalen Mills (groin), Marcus Jones (concussion) and Shaun Wade (healthy scratch) were ruled out, while Jack Jones (knee) was placed on injured reserve on Saturday. Defensive lineman Sam Roberts was a healthy scratch.