New England Patriots

New England Patriots

  • The Patriots’ offensive snap counts continue to be under the microscope, even with Bailey Zappe at quarterback. And it became even more interesting on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, which featured the NFL debut of wide receiver Tyquan Thornton.

    Kendrick Bourne remains the player with the most mysterious workload, despite a better day in terms of snaps on throwback day at Gillette Stadium. Bourne played 33 snaps, as tracked by, his highest total of the season so far. He didn’t produce much with them, finishing with only two touches for zero total yards. But this was a day for the running game, anyway, with 35 runs compared to 21 pass attempts.

    Thornton, meanwhile, played 24 snaps and made two catches for seven yards. Jakobi Meyers was the team’s only real productive receiver in the game, with seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. But the more balanced distribution of receiver snaps – and a drop-off for Lil’Jordan Humphrey – stood out.

    Here are the full offensive snap counts for all the Patriots’ skill players, as tracked by Please note that these are unofficial numbers, and exclude both pre-snap penalties and victory formations.

  • Hunter Henry: 57
    Rhamondre Stevenson: 52
    Jakobi Meyers: 49
    Kendrick Bourne: 33
    DeVante Parker: 31
    Tyquan Thornton: 24
    Lil’Jordan Humphrey: 14
    Marcus Cannon (as TE): 10
    Nelson Agholor: 7
    Damien Harris: 6
    Matt Sokol: 6

  • Henry led the way in snaps in a week that the Patriots had to play without Jonnu Smith (ankle sprain), and delivered in both the run and pass games. He showed up as a pass-catcher with four catches for 54 yards, a strong output compared to his first four games. Stevenson, meanwhile, may not have a higher snap count all season after being forced to take over an every-snap role.

    But look at those receiver snaps. Meyers playing the most snaps at the position is certainly a thing that no one will dispute. Interestingly enough, Bourne played the second-most this time. DeVante Parker’s snap count dropped off after the veteran wideout at one point spent 12 consecutive snaps on the bench. The Patriots mainly went with Thornton at the “X” receiver spot in Parker’s place when he wasn’t on the field.

    Agholor’s snap count would definitely be higher if he didn’t have to leave the game early with a hamstring injury. But his usage going forward is going to be something to watch closely, even if he’s healthy, because he showed bad ball security for the third time in five games when he fumbled the ball away to the Lions on Zappe’s “interception.”

  • One more note: the Patriots had Bourne on the field for 14 run plays, compared to nine for Humphrey. So there’s certainly much less predictability there.

    Now that Thornton is back and healthy, it will be interesting to see how much he can cut into Parker’s snaps, considering he replaced Parker for an extended time at his usual spot. It’s a good sign for the rookie that the Pats put him right out there after he became eligible to come off injured reserve, and give him a respectable snap count at that.

    We’ll continue to track the Patriots’ offensive snap counts as the season goes on. Click here for complete New England Patriots coverage at

  • Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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