Defensive snaps: Jones right into fire

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A look at snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 31-24 win over the Colts, while analyzing what it might mean (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

CB Kyle Arrington – 73 of 73

LB Jerod Mayo – 73 of 73

S James Ihedigbo – 70 of 73

S Matthew Slater – 70 of 73

CB/S Nate Jones – 69 of 73

DL Andre Carter – 61 of 73

LB/DE Rob Ninkovich – 60 of 73

CB Devin McCourty – 55 of 73

DL Vince Wilfork – 51 of 73

DL Kyle Love – 46 of 73

DL Gerard Warren – 33 of 73

LB Niko Koutouvides – 32 of 73

DE Mark Anderson – 25 of 73

LB Gary Guyton – 24 of 73

LB Tracy White – 20 of 73

DL Brandon Deaderick – 17 of 73

CB Sterling Moore – 15 of 73

DL Ron Brace – 3 of 73

S Sergio Brown – 3 of 73

DL Shaun Ellis – 3 of 73

(Snaps include three false start penalties. Colts kneeldown at the end of the first half not included.)

ANALYSIS: DB Nate Jones was signed on Wednesday and he was thrown right into the mix, hardly leaving the field. He played a few different roles – safety and slot corner. ... This was a game played mostly in the nickel package (5 defensive backs), with safety James Ihedigbo playing closer to the line of scrimmage in a linebacker-type role. … The sense from here was that Bill Belichick was taking a closer look at how different options looked so he can gather more information heading into the playoffs and make the best roster-related decisions based on a specific matchup. The sub linebacker role was a good example of this as Niko Koutouvides (32 snaps) started before giving way to Gary Guyton (24 snaps), who then was replaced by Tracy White (20 snaps). … The three snaps in which S Matthew Slater was on the sideline came at the start of the second quarter when the Colts were at the 1 and the Patriots had their short-yardage unit on the field. … The lone snaps for DLs Shaun Ellis and Ron Brace came in the short-yardage package. … Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love are 1-2 on the “big” DL depth chart, with veteran Gerard Warren the top backup. Warren played some quality snaps (15 first half, 18 second half). ... The versatility of hybrid LB/DE Rob Ninkovich continues to show up. At one point during a timeout, Ninkovich was called over to the sideline by Bill Belichick so they could go over some defensive strategy, which reflects in part how Ninkovich has become an important cog in the eyes of the coaches.