Sports
    Next Score View the next score

    Patriots Replay: Key plays from the Patriots’ win over Denver

    Each week, Globe NFL reporter Ben Volin reviews the film of the Patriots’ game and breaks down the outcome. Here’s a closer look at some of the key plays.

    Defending Peyton

    The Patriots mixed up their coverages from series to series, and even from play to play, to confuse Peyton Manning and not let him get into a rhythm.

    On the very first play, we see Darrelle Revis (24) matching up on Demaryius Thomas (88), Patrick Chung (23) on Wes Welker (83), Kyle Arrington (25) on Emmanuel Sanders (10) and Brandon Browner (39) showing a zone look, but responsible for Julius Thomas (80).

    Advertisement

    On second down, now it’s Browner (39) on Demaryius Thomas (88), Revis (24) on Sanders (10), Arrington (25) on Welker (83) and Chung (23) on Julius Thomas (80), in a man-to-man look.

    Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
    The most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    On the next play, nullified by penalty, Revis (24) is back on Demaryius Thomas (88), Arrington (25) on Sanders (10), Chung (23) on Welker (83), Jamie Collins (91) on Jacob Tamme (84), and Browner (39) playing in the slot on Julius Thomas (80).

    And on the next play, we see press man coverage, with Malcolm Butler (21) responsible for Sanders. The Patriots mixed their matchups and zone/man looks liberally all game.

    The Gronk effect

    Sometimes, Rob Gronkowski affects the game even when he doesn’t get the ball. Early in the second quarter, the Patriots reached the red zone, and the Broncos appear to have this play well covered. But watch LB Nate Irving. He is so focused on watching Gronk that he misses Julian Edelman streaking across the end zone, which gives Edelman enough room to get open against T.J. Ward, and Tom Brady squeezes in a perfect TD pass.

    Julian Edelman punt return TD – how’d it happen?

    Edelman had an 84-yard punt return touchdown with the help of four great blocks. And he did the rest with a slick cutback on Jacob Tamme.

    Offensive snap counts

    Advertisement

    Percent is based on 647 total snaps this season

    Dolphins Vikings Raiders Chiefs Bengals Bills Jets Bears Broncos Total Percent
    C Bryan Stork 0 11 15 50 86 0 0 73 84 319 49%
    QB Tom Brady 86 65 75 38 83 71 57 66 84 625 97%
    C Dan Connolly 86 54 75 38 86 25 0 62 84 510 79%
    C Ryan Wendell 22 0 0 15 86 71 57 61 84 396 61%
    LT Nate Solder 86 65 75 41 77 65 54 60 84 607 94%
    RT Sebastian Vollmer 85 65 75 39 76 60 54 52 84 590 91%
    WR Julian Edelman 83 50 70 47 68 60 54 44 76 552 85%
    TE Rob Gronkowski 38 27 44 31 68 56 53 39 76 432 67%
    WR Brandon LaFell 39 36 43 50 76 50 55 60 75 484 75%
    RB Shane Vereen 61 19 28 29 34 36 46 32 62 347 54%
    WR Danny Amendola 61 18 27 28 19 21 22 37 45 278 43%
    TE Michael Hoomanawanui 30 42 48 14 46 40 15 45 22 302 47%
    RB Jonas Gray 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 28 22 61 9%
    FB James Develin 17 21 12 9 30 21 8 28 21 167 26%
    TE Tim Wright 21 8 5 16 19 16 19 21 12 137 21%
    WR Brian Tyms 0 0 0 0 0 7 1 17 9 34 5%
    LG Marcus Cannon 86 57 75 20 19 17 6 34 0 314 49%
    G Josh Kline 0 8 0 0 0 71 57 23 0 159 25%
    RB James White 0 0 0 14 0 0 0 13 0 27 4%
    QB Jimmy Garoppolo 0 0 0 12 3 0 0 7 0 22 3%
    WR Matthew Slater 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 1 0 6 1%
    RG Jordan Devey 64 65 60 0 4 46 57 0 0 296 46%
    RB Brandon Bolden 9 10 7 0 2 12 1 0 0 41 6%
    RB Stevan Ridley 22 36 43 12 50 24 0 0 0 187 29%
    OT Cameron Fleming 4 27 12 47 0 0 0 0 0 90 14%
    WR Kenbrell Thompkins 46 0 36 0 0 0 0 0 0 82 13%
    WR Aaron Dobson 0 31 0 0 11 10 0 0 0 52 8%

    Defensive snap counts

    Percent is based on 622 total snaps this season

    Dolphins Vikings Raiders Chiefs Bengals Bills Jets Bears Broncos Total Percent
    LB Donta Hightower 74 66 58 58 0 0 87 69 80 492 79%
    DE Rob Ninkovich 36 66 58 63 52 69 87 60 80 571 92%
    FS Devin McCourty 73 58 58 63 19 69 87 60 80 567 91%
    LB Jamie Collins 73 0 19 54 52 69 87 52 80 486 78%
    CB Darrelle Revis 63 58 58 62 48 68 86 60 79 582 94%
    CB Brandon Browner 0 0 0 0 0 0 41 56 79 176 28%
    LB Akeem Ayers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 32 74 106 17%
    SS Patrick Chung 46 35 40 47 48 60 77 55 66 474 76%
    DT Vince Wilfork 50 37 48 55 47 64 69 43 61 474 76%
    CB Kyle Arrington 31 41 21 24 42 45 1 9 53 267 43%
    DT Chris Jones 0 16 27 33 39 50 50 29 39 283 45%
    CB Malcolm Butler 27 8 0 30 0 0 0 15 36 116 19%
    DE Dominique Easley 26 30 16 31 19 0 20 41 30 213 34%
    DT Casey Walker 0 0 0 0 14 33 49 45 18 159 26%
    DT Alan Branch 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 12 2%
    CB Logan Ryan 18 66 58 40 4 2 45 54 4 291 47%
    SS Duron Harmon 5 27 12 13 34 16 5 22 4 138 22%
    SS Tavon Wilson 22 11 15 12 1 10 11 12 4 98 16%
    LB Jonathan Casillas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0%
    LB Deontae Skinner 0 20 0 6 12 36 5 24 0 103 17%
    DE Chandler Jones 70 66 58 43 18 69 84 0 0 408 66%
    LB Jerod Mayo 74 66 58 62 52 20 0 0 0 332 53%
    CB Alfonzo Dennard 51 0 0 0 52 66 50 0 0 219 35%
    DT Sealver Siliga 41 37 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 88 14%
    DT Joe Vellano 33 1 14 24 5 0 0 0 0 77 12%
    DE Zach Moore 0 0 0 0 0 11 16 0 0 27 4%
    DE Michael Buchanan 0 0 0 12 14 0 0 0 0 26 4%
    SS Nate Ebner 1 14 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 26 4%
    SS Don Jones 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0%
    LB Chris White 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0%