New England Patriots 2021 Week fifteen Snap Counts: Interpretations and Implications

As the New England Patriots prepare to move on from their 27-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night (dropping their record to 9-5 in the 2021 season), they continue to take stock of their performances from both. sides of the balloon. .

Heading into their Week 16 game with the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots will be looking to improve in many areas. While video game analysis will be the primary focus, a look at playing time can help the Pats help design effective strategies for moving forward.

Here’s a look at the Patriots’ offensive and defensive tally for Saturday’s game, as well as a possible look at New England’s future game planning.

Offensive snaps

In attack, the number of snaps of the Pats was 68 against the Colts on Saturday night:

The familiar Patriots starting five led the way, with Isaiah Wynn (LT), Ted Karras (LG), David Andrews (Center), Shaq Mason (RG) and Trent Brown (RT) each taking the 68 offensive shots for the New England. Collectively, the unit had a tough outing, as the team rushed for just 81 yards combined. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn struggled particularly hard, penalized for a costly false start, as well as for ceding the only sack to Mac Jones on the night. In limited service, Michael Onwenu took just six snaps, one of which he was whistled for a false start on third and two on the two-yard line.

Once again, Jakobi Meyers led all receivers, taking 64 offensive shots on Saturday. Meyers has been targeted twelve times, more than any other receiver on the pitch. He finished the game with 44 yards receiving on six receptions. Kendrick Bourne took 48 offensive shots for New England, catching all three targets for 44 yards, including an 18-yard gain on the Pats’ second-half return attempt. N’Keal Harry saw the action in over fifty percent of the Pats’ shots on offense, taking 36 shots. Nelson Agholor (32 snaps) made impressive catches before leaving the game in the second half with a head injury.

The Patriots running backs were never able to find the rhythm on Saturday as their early deficit forced them to adopt a passing-first strategy. Brandon Bolden led all rushers with 38 snaps, also lining up as a situational wide receiver. Rhamondre Stevenson took 31 snaps, gaining just 36 yards in 10 attempts. Finally, back Jakob Johnson took just 10 shots, his third lowest total of the season. Johnson was part of the blocking failure, which led to Jake Bailey’s blocked punt in the first half.

While there were few bright spots for the Patriots in Saturday’s loss, tight hunter Henry was certainly one of them. Henry was in attendance for 55 of the Patriots ‘offensive shots, clearly establishing himself as the Pats’ most trusted receiver and the Red Zone’s biggest threat. Henry caught six passes for 77 yards with two touchdowns. His counterpart Jonnu Smith only took 17 shots. However, the stats line didn’t do Smith justice, as his productive plays were nullified by the Patriots’ penalties.

Defensive snaps

In defense, the Pats’ number of snaps was 52 against the Colts on Saturday night

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As usual, safety Devin McCourty was present for 100% of the Patriots’ defensive shots in Week 15. The Pats team captain won the team’s defensive highlight of the night, netting a Carson Wentz interception in the second half. Adrian Phillips played on 42 defensive snaps, while Kyle Dugger took just 29. Dugger’s reduced totals were no doubt due to his third quarter sent off for battling Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman. Pittman was also expelled for his role in the skirmish.

Cornerbacks Jalen Mills and JC Jackson were also ubiquitous on the defensive end of the ball on Saturday, each taking all 52 snaps. Jackson was solid in coverage, winning three tackles and three assists defended. Myles Bryant took 21 shots, mostly out of the slot.

While the Patriots’ defensive line has had decent times, they’ll ultimately be grappling with the guilt of giving the Colts rushers 226 rushing yards. Davon Godchaux led the line taking 44 snaps, winning five tackles in total (four solo). Christian Barmore (35 snaps) and Lawrence Guy (33 snaps) each saw more than 60% of the Pats’ action on the preventive side of the ball, as the team made heavy use of their defensive tackles. Deatrich Wise has only been deployed for four shots, his lowest total of the season to date. However, Wise made the most of his time, winning a sack and tackle for the loss.

Finally, the veteran Patriots linebacker trio led the way for the group of positions, with Dont’a Hightower taking 48 shots, while Matthew Judon and Kyle Van Noy each recorded 47. Jamie Collins took 37 defensive shots, a season high, getting the majority of the action after Ja’Whaun Bentley exited the game with an ankle injury. Bentley only played 11 defensive snaps on Saturday.

The Patriots are now returning home to the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., As they host the Buffalo Bills for a post-Christmas clash on Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET.