Patriots-Seahawks Takeaways: What Snap Counts Taught Us In Week 2 Loss

How did the Patriots adjust their depth chart between Week 1 and 2

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Say what you will about the New England Patriots’ performance in Week 2, but they never make it boring when the Seattle Seahawks are on the other side of the field.

Down 12 points with less than five minutes left on the clock, the Patriots looked cooked. Then quarterback Cam Newton took New England down the field in just over two minutes for a touchdown, the Patriots’ defense got a stop, and New England was suddenly right back in the game.

Ultimately, the Patriots came up 2 yards short against one of the NFL’s best teams 3,000 miles from Foxboro, Mass.

Was it a moral victory? Sure, if you believe in those. But there is some optimism around New England after Newton showed how he can still throw the ball.

Here are the Patriots’ offensive snap counts:

LT Isaiah Wynn: 72 snaps, 100%
LG Joe Thuney: 72 snaps, 100%
RG Shaq Mason: 72 snaps, 100%
C David Andrews: 72 snaps, 100%
QB Cam Newton: 72 snaps, 100%
TE Ryan Izzo: 70 snaps, 97%
WR Damiere Byrd: 62 snaps, 86%
WR N’Keal Harry: 61 snaps, 85%
WR Julian Edelman: 52 snaps, 72%
RB Rex Burkhead: 51 snaps, 71%
RT Jermaine Eluemunor: 51 snaps, 71%
RT Michael Onwenu: 29 snaps, 40%
FB Jakob Johnson: 17 snaps, 24%
RB Sony Michel: 15 snaps, 21%
TE Devin Asiasi: 10 snaps, 14%
WR Jakobi Meyers: 8 snaps, 11%
OL Justin Herron: 5 snaps, 7%
RB J.J. Taylor: 1 snap, 1%

— After Newton attempted just 19 passes on 22 dropbacks in Week 1, the Patriots QB threw 44 passes on 47 dropbacks in Week 2. The Patriots didn’t win, but they proved they could still be competitive when the rushing attack isn’t there and Newton has to sling it. Newton also did run effectively.

— Running back James White was inactive after his father died in a car accident. It seems Burkhead took on his own regular playtime plus White’s. Burkhead contributed four catches for 47 yards but the Patriots’ running backs seriously struggled on the ground. Burkhead carried the ball six times for 2 yards while Michel rushed seven times for 19 yards. Taylor only earned one snap after showing promise in Week 1.

— Byrd led Patriots wide receivers in snaps for the second straight week, and after being held target-less in Week 1, he caught six passes on nine targets for 72 yards Sunday night. He also was targeted on Newton’s interception.

— Edelman played just 58 percent of offensive snaps in Week 1. That increased in Week 2 as he set a career high with 179 yards on eight catches.

— Harry also set career highs with eight catches for 72 yards.

— Asiasi played 10 snaps for the second straight week but was still held without a target as Izzo took No. 1 tight end snaps.

— The Patriots continued to rotate Eluemunor and Onwenu at right tackle.

Here are the Patriots’ defensive snap counts:

FS Devin McCourty: 63 snaps, 100%
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley: 63 snaps, 100%
CB Stephon Gilmore: 62 snaps, 98%
CB Jonathan Jones: 59 snaps, 94%
OLB John Simon: 56 snaps, 89%
S Adrian Phillips: 49 snaps, 78%
OLB Chase Winovich: 47 snaps, 75%
DT Lawrence Guy: 45 snaps, 71%
CB JC Jackson: 38 snaps, 60%
S Kyle Dugger: 34 snaps, 54%
DT Byron Cowart: 31 snaps, 49%
LB Brandon Copeland: 30 snaps, 48%
CB Jason McCourty: 30 snaps, 48%
DE Deatrich Wise: 20 snaps, 32%
DT Adam Butler: 18 snaps, 29%
LB Shilique Calhoun: 17 snaps, 27%
OLB Derek Rivers: 10 snaps, 16%
CB Joejuan Williams: 8 snaps, 13%
S Terrence Brooks: 6 snaps, 10%
DT Nick Thurman: 5 snaps, 8%
LB Anfernee Jennings: 2 snaps, 3%


— The Patriots played 17 snaps with seven defensive backs on the field in Week 1 but used that formation just three times against Seattle. The Seahawks run too well to go so light on defense. The Seahawks still moved the ball with little resistance from the Patriots’ defensive front with 154 yards on 30 carries. Copeland was the biggest beneficiary from the heavier approach, while Williams and Brooks took a backseat.

— Dugger also saw his snap count increase in Week 2 from 18 percent to 54 percent. He finished with five defensive tackles and one special teams tackle. He showed some impressive explosive traits. Perhaps his snap count will continue to grow as the season goes along.

— The Patriots’ coverage stats are ugly:

Gilmore: 3-5, 85 yards, TD
J. McCourty: 3-3, 58 yards, two TDs
Jones: 5-6, 35 yards, holding penalty
Jackson: 2-3, 28 yards, TD
Phillips: 2-2, 27 yards, TD
Bentley: 2-2, 21 yards
Dugger: 2-2, 18 yards
Brooks: 1-1, 9 yards
Simon: 1-1, 6 yards
D. McCourty: 0-1, INT

— Gilmore has struggled to start the season. He was flagged for pass interference twice in Week 1.

— Jason McCourty was seemingly relegated to No. 4 cornerback duties midway through the game as the Patriots changed up their defensive approach and put Jackson on the field. The Patriots like McCourty in zone and Jackson in man. There appeared to be some miscommunication on the touchdown Jackson let up.

Here’s what Bill Belichick said after the game about touchdowns allowed by Jason McCourty, Gilmore and Phillips:

“(Wilson) made three great throws on the three long touchdowns,” Belichick said. “Two of which were very well defended, the other one wasn?t bad, he had a guy right in his face and he still made a great throw.”

Gilmore and McCourty were in close coverage on the touchdowns they allowed. Phillips trailed behind running back Chris Carson.

— Bentley is a good downhill linebacker, but Seattle took advantage of his lack of lateral agility on crossing routes and scrambles. There’s a case to be made that Bentley should only be a two-down player and come off of the field on third down.

— The Patriots only sacked quarterback Russell Wilson twice but hit him eight times. Winovich and Guy both registered two QB hits. Calhoun had a full sack while Winovich and Rivers shared a sack.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton
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