Snaps: Valuable experience for Ebner

A look at snaps played by Patriots defenders in the first half of Monday’s 27-17 preseason loss to the Eagles at Gillette Stadium, and analyzing some of the key points:

CB Ras-I Dowling – 32 of 32

CB Sterling Moore – 30 of 32

DE Trevor Scott – 24 of 32

DT Ron Brace – 21 of 32

S Nate Ebner – 21 of 32

S Will Allen – 20 of 32

LB Bobby Carpenter – 20 of 32

DE Jermaine Cunningham – 20 of 32

DT Brandon Deaderick – 20 of 32

CB Marquice Cole – 19 of 32

LB Brandon Spikes – 19 of 32

S Steve Gregory – 12 of 32

DE Chandler Jones – 12 of 32

DT Kyle Love – 12 of 32

LB Jeff Tarpinian – 12 of 32

LB Dont’a Hightower – 11 of 32

S Patrick Chung – 10 of 32

DE Jake Bequette – 9 of 32

DE/DT Justin Francis – 7 of 32

LB Niko Koutouvides – 6 of 32

DT Marcus Forston – 5 of 32

LB Mike Rivera – 5 of 32

S Josh Barrett – 3 of 32

DT Marcus Harrison – 2 of 32

(Delay-of-game and false-start penalties included.)

ANALYSIS: Safety Nate Ebner saw time at safety in the base defense and then in the “money” linebacker position in the dime. That is valuable experience for him after appearing in just three defensive snaps for Ohio State in 2011. His interception came in the nickel defense as he was playing in the deep part of the field. … Fourth-year DT Ron Brace seemed to take advantage of his opportunity to start next to Kyle Love. … Love’s standing as the top DT along with Vince Wilfork was reflected in him playing the first two series and then calling it a night. He didn’t even come back for short-yardage/goal-line work. … Both DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont’a Hightower played in the first two series and then were done for the night. That seemed like a way to get them valuable reps but not overtax them with a big three-day stretch in Tampa ahead. They have worked themselves into key cogs on the defense. … Both DE Jermaine Cunningham and DE Justin Francis had some snaps as an interior rusher in nickel (5 defensive backs) and dime (6 defensive backs) packages. … Veteran Will Allen came on for Patrick Chung at safety when Chung left with a shoulder injury. That could be an important evaluation for the coaching staff as Allen, a cornerback for his entire career, doesn’t have a lot of tape at safety. He had a pass breakup along the sideline that could have been an interception had he hung on to the football. ... CB Marquice Cole was the nickel back.