Defensive snaps: Cunningham's role

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A look at snaps played by Patriots defenders on Sunday’s 35-21 win over the Chargers and analyzing what they might mean (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

LB Jerod Mayo – 72 of 72

CB Devin McCourty – 72 of 72

LB/DE Rob Ninkovich – 67 of 72

S Sergio Brown – 62 of 72

DL Vince Wilfork – 62 of 72

S Josh Barrett – 59 of 72

DE Andre Carter – 56 of 72

S Patrick Chung – 49 of 72

DE Shaun Ellis – 46 of 72

CB Leigh Bodden – 35 of 72

CB Kyle Arrington – 31 of 72

LB Dane Fletcher – 29 of 72

CB Ras-I Dowling – 26 of 72

DL Albert Haynesworth – 22 of 72

DL Kyle Love – 22 of 72

DE Mark Anderson – 19 of 72

LB Brandon Spikes – 19 of 72

S James Ihedigbo – 14 of 72

LB A.J. Edds – 10 of 72

DL Myron Pryor – 7 of 72

CB Antwan Molden – 2 of 72

DE Jermaine Cunningham – 1 of 72

(False start, roughing the passer, offensive holding, defensive holding, false start, defensive holding and defensive pass interference penalties included.)

ANALYSIS: Second-year DE Jermaine Cunningham has fell well behind veterans Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter in the competition for playing time. His lone snap was in the goal-line package on the fourth-and-1 stop. Cunningham also played on the line on the punt return unit. … One of the players benefitting most from the Patriots’ scheme change in 2011 is DL Vince Wilfork. He used to always say he considered himself more than a two-down player, which surely was a part of contract talks last year, and this scheme has given him more of a chance to prove that. He’s delivering, staying on the field on more third downs. … Quiet day for DL Albert Haynesworth – 13 snaps in the first half, 9 in the second. He didn’t show up on the stat sheet… We’ll be keeping an eye on the health of DL Myron Pryor, who didn’t play after the third series. No injury was announced at the game, although Pryor has been on the injury report in recent weeks (groin). His final play came on a pass-rush in which he was stood up by an interior lineman. … LB A.J. Edds received his first playing time on defense since being claimed by the Patriots in the week leading up to the season opener, with all 10 snaps coming in the second half. … CB Antwan Molden played the final two snaps of the game. With rookie Ras-I Dowling (groin) ailing, this figures to be a big week for him to see his role increase.