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Dolphins vs Patriots review: Offensive and defensive snap counts for Miami

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins came out of Foxboro, Massachusetts on Sunday with a win, moving to 1-0 on the year and knocking the New England Patriots down to an 0-1 record. The Dolphins used just about every player available on the 48-man game-day roster, with just two offensive linemen not making any appearance in the game. There were a couple of surprises for the Dolphins’ playing time, but nothing overly shocking.

Throughout the year, we will monitor the snap counts for every player, seeing who sees their time increase and who loses playing time. Below you will find charts for the offensive and defensive snap counts, along with the each player’s season total. Finally, some thoughts of each position group close out each side of the ball.

Offense

2021 Offensive Snap Counts

Pos Player Week 1 Played Snaps Week 1 Total Snaps Percent Week 1 Week 2 Played Snaps Week 2 Total Snaps Percent Week 2 Season Played Snaps Season Total Snaps Percent Season Total
Pos Player Week 1 Played Snaps Week 1 Total Snaps Percent Week 1 Week 2 Played Snaps Week 2 Total Snaps Percent Week 2 Season Played Snaps Season Total Snaps Percent Season Total
QB Tua Tagovailoa 52 54 96% 9 74 12% 61 128 48%
QB Jacoby Brissett 2 54 4% 65 74 88% 67 128 52%
RB Myles Gaskin 29 54 54% 45 74 61% 74 128 58%
RB Salvon Ahmed 11 54 20% 23 74 31% 34 128 27%
RB Malcolm Brown 16 54 30% 9 74 12% 25 128 20%
TE Mike Gesicki 21 54 39% 47 74 64% 68 128 53%
TE Durham Smythe 38 54 70% 22 74 30% 60 128 47%
TE Adam Shaheen Reserve/COVID-19 54 0% 20 74 27% 20 128 16%
TE Cethan Carter 13 54 24% 16 74 22% 29 128 23%
TE Hunter Long 18 54 33% Inactive 74 0% 18 128 14%
WR DeVante Parker 45 54 83% 55 74 74% 100 128 78%
WR Jaylen Waddle 43 54 80% 47 74 64% 90 128 70%
WR Albert Wilson 22 54 41% 41 74 55% 63 128 49%
WR Preston Williams Inactive 54 0% 22 74 30% 22 128 17%
WR Mack Hollins 7 54 13% 16 74 22% 23 128 18%
WR Jakeem Grant Sr. 7 54 13% 7 74 9% 14 128 11%
WR Will Fuller V Suspended 54 0% Inactive 74 0% 0 128 0%
OL Robert Hunt 54 54 100% 74 74 100% 128 128 100%
OL Michael Deiter 54 54 100% 74 74 100% 128 128 100%
OL Austin Jackson Special Teams Only 54 0% 74 74 100% 74 128 58%
OL Solomon Kindley 54 54 100% 67 74 91% 121 128 95%
OL Jesse Davis 54 54 100% 45 74 61% 99 128 77%
OL Liam Eichenberg 54 54 100% 29 74 39% 83 128 65%
OL Robert Jones DNP 54 0% 7 74 9% 7 128 5%
OL Greg Little Inactive 54 0% Inactive 74 0% 0 128 0%
OL Greg Mancz DNP 54 0% DNP 74 0% 0 128 0%

The offense did not have a lot of surprises. Jacoby Brissett took two snaps at quarterback, replacing Tua Tagovailoa for quarterback sneaks, picking up a first down both times.

At running back, the Dolphins stuck to the idea of a platooning position group, with the hot hand seeing the majority of the work; with no one seeming to break out immediately, Myles Gaskin got the majority of the playing time, followed by Malcom Brown and Salvon Ahmed.

Durham Smythe led the tight end group with 70 percent of the offensive snaps played, while Mike Gesicki, the top catching threat for the group, played in 39 percent of the contest. Hunter Long (33 percent) and Cethan Carter (24 percent) both saw decent playing time.

The wide receivers were pretty much exactly as expected, with DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle on the field most of the game, followed by Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, and Mack Hollins. How Preston Williams (inactive with an injury) and Will Fuller (suspended) change the rotation once they are back will be interesting.

The offensive line had the five starters all play 100 percent of the snaps; the only surprise may have been rookie Liam Eichenberg starting at left tackle despite Austin Jackson - who played three snaps on special teams - being available.

Defense

2021 Defensive Snap Counts

Pos Player Week 1 Played Snaps Week 1 Total Snaps Percent Week 1 Week 2 Played Snaps Week 2 Total Snaps Percent Week 2 Season Played Snaps Seans Total Snaps Percent Season Total
Pos Player Week 1 Played Snaps Week 1 Total Snaps Percent Week 1 Week 2 Played Snaps Week 2 Total Snaps Percent Week 2 Season Played Snaps Seans Total Snaps Percent Season Total
DL Emmanuel Ogbah 48 75 64% 47 65 72% 95 140 68%
DL Adam Butler 48 75 64% 47 65 72% 95 140 68%
DL Christian Wilkins 42 75 56% 44 65 68% 86 140 61%
DL Zach Sieler 28 75 37% 33 65 51% 61 140 44%
DL John Jenkins 45 75 60% 18 65 28% 63 140 45%
DL Raekwon Davis 5 75 7% IR 65 0% 5 140 4%
LB Jerome Baker 74 75 99% 63 65 97% 137 140 98%
LB Andrew Van Ginkel 53 75 71% 46 65 71% 99 140 71%
LB Brennan Scarlett 26 75 35% 20 65 31% 46 140 33%
LB Elandon Roberts 36 75 48% 19 65 29% 55 140 39%
LB Jaelan Phillips 22 75 29% 18 65 28% 40 140 29%
LB Sam Eguavoen 36 75 48% 8 65 12% 44 140 31%
LB Duke Riley 1 75 1% 2 65 3% 3 140 2%
CB Xavien Howard 75 75 100% 62 65 95% 137 140 98%
CB Byron Jones 75 75 100% 62 65 95% 137 140 98%
CB Justin Coleman 2 75 3% 49 65 75% 51 140 36%
CB Nik Needham 35 75 47% 2 65 3% 37 140 26%
CB Noah Igbinoghene Inactive 75 0% Inactive 65 0% 0 140 0%
CB Jamal Perry Special Teams Only 75 0% ST Only 65 0% 0 140 0%
CB Trill Williams Inactive 75 0% Inactive 65 0% 0 140 0%
CB Elijah Campbell Inactive 75 0% Inactive 65 0% 0 140 0%
S Jason McCourty 74 75 99% 58 65 89% 132 140 94%
S Jevon Holland 24 75 32% 50 65 77% 74 140 53%
S Brandon Jones 11 75 15% 41 65 63% 52 140 37%
S Eric Rowe 65 75 87% 26 65 40% 91 140 65%
S Clayton Fejedelem Special Teams Only 75 0% ST Only 65 0% 0 140 0%

The defensive line rotations did not happen as Miami would have liked, given the injury to Raekwon Davis after just five snaps. Emmanuel Ogbah, Adam Butler, John Jenkins, and Christian Wilkins all played over half the game, while Zach Sieler was in for more than a third of the contest.

The evolution of the snap counts over the course of the season for the linebacker position will be one to watch. While Jerome Baker getting nearly all of the snaps (99 percent on Sunday, missing just one play) is normal, how the Dolphins increase rookie Jaelan Phillips’ playing time over the rest of the year will be interesting; he was on the field for just 22 plays or 29 percent of the game. Andrew Van Ginkel trailed just Baker in the snap counts for the linebacker position, playing 53 snaps, while Sam Eguavoen and Elandon Roberts were both on the field for 36 snaps, or just about half of the contest. Brennan Scarlett, who had a decent game, was on the field for 35 percent of the snaps, and Duke Riley made a one snap appearance on defense.

At cornerback, the team’s top two players, Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, each played all 75 snaps. Nik Needham had the second most plays seeing 47 percent of the action, while Justin Coleman was on the field for two defensive plays. After Needham’s work as an outside cornerback all summer and Coleman working as the primary nickel cornerback, it was a little interesting to see how few plays Coleman had on Sunday. The real disappointment, however, was Noah Igbinoghene landing on the inactive players list; he has to improve this season and start developing into the player Miami projected him to be when they selected him in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft.

At safety, Jason McCourty played all but one snap, while Eric Rowe was in the game 87 percent of the time. Jevon Holland had a solid game, playing 32 percent of the snaps while Brandon Jones played 11 defensive plays.