Patriots' defensive snaps: Trade acquisitions fill the void

SAN DIEGO -- Snaps played by New England Patriots defenders in Sunday's win against the Chargers (penalties included but not kneeldowns):


Rob Ninkovich -- 56 of 56

Akeem Ayers -- 54 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: Ayers' interception was one of the big plays of the game, as his October acquisition from the Titans continues to pay dividends. He is playing a lot, as the only two times he came off the field came when the Patriots were in a base 4-3. ... Ninkovich continues to be "Mr. Reliable" as his five tackles tied for second on the team, and he added a sack.


Vince Wilfork -- 31 of 56

Sealver Siliga -- 25 of 56

Chris Jones -- 24 of 56

Alan Branch -- 16 of 56

Dominique Easley -- 9 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: This marked Siliga's return to the field (3 tackles, half-sack) after being placed on short-term injured reserve in late September, and safety Devin McCourty credited him with bringing energy to the unit. He was part of a four-man rotation with Wilfork, Jones and Branch. ... Easley was used solely as an interior sub rusher. ... There was a pretty liberal rotation of the top four players.


Jamie Collins -- 56 of 56

Jonathan Casillas -- 50 of 56

Darius Fleming -- 2 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: Collins was magnificent in not missing a snap and leading the defensive huddle. ... Casillas, acquired in a trade from the Buccaneers in late October, had played 43 defensive snaps over his first four games with the team. So this was a hard-to-miss expansion of his duties as he primarily was tapped to take Dont'a Hightower's place. ... Fleming was part of the base defense, coming on as the third linebacker.


Brandon Browner -- 56 of 56

Darrelle Revis -- 56 of 56

Kyle Arrington -- 54 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: This was a pretty straight-forward plan as the Patriots stayed mostly in their sub packages and went only three deep at cornerback, with Arrington capably handling the slot (outside of one tripping penalty).


McCourty -- 56 of 56

Patrick Chung -- 42 of 56

Duron Harmon -- 18 of 56

Tavon Wilson -- 11 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: Chung was sometimes replaced by Harmon in obvious passing situations to create more of a coverage element, while Wilson's 11 snaps were his most since playing 12 against the Bears on Oct. 26. His solid tackle of tight end Antonio Gates, which helped the Patriots get the ball back to kneel and win the game, was textbook.