<
>

Patriots' defensive snaps: Kyle Arrington from slot man to starter

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at snaps played by New England Patriots defenders in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Colts:

CORNERBACK

Kyle Arrington -- 56 of 56

Darrelle Revis -- 45 of 56

Brandon Browner -- 39 of 56

Logan Ryan -- 26 of 56

Malcolm Butler -- 15 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: Arrington is usually the team's No. 3 corner, as he played 40.0 percent of the defensive snaps during the season. But he drew the assignment of starter to guard Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton and he was terrific in limiting Hilton to one catch for 36 yards, which was a terrific play by Andrew Luck and Hilton. The Patriots used Browner on tight end Coby Fleener, but not all the time, sometimes taking Browner off the field to mix up their looks. The plan was successful as the Colts' varied options on offense had the Patriots using all five of their corners. Revis came off late when the outcome was in hand, but also missed a few snaps in the first half while undergoing protocol for a concussion.

SAFETY

Devin McCourty -- 49 of 56

Patrick Chung -- 31 of 56

Duron Harmon -- 11 of 56

Tavon Wilson -- 6 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: With the Patriots sometimes running a nickel package that included four cornerbacks, it took Chung -- normally the starter next to McCourty -- off the field a bit more than the norm. That was all related to the specific matchups against Colts receivers in man coverage.

LINEBACKER

Jamie Collins -- 56 of 56

Dont'a Hightower -- 50 of 56

Jonathan Casillas -- 12 of 56

Darius Fleming -- 5 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: This is usually Collins and Hightower playing every snap, but Casillas saw a bit more time which was mostly a result of matching the Colts' three-tight-end package in a base defense. Fleming's time came late in the game in place of Hightower.

DEFENSIVE END

Rob Ninkovich -- 52 of 56

Chandler Jones -- 50 of 56

Akeem Ayers -- 11 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: Ayers had played only one snap in the divisional round, and his increase Sunday was a result of the Patriots getting the Colts into some obvious passing situations when New England could call on its sub package in which Ayers is a designated pass-rusher. Ninkovich, who has played more snaps than any defensive lineman in the NFL this season, looked energized.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Vince Wilfork -- 31 of 56

Sealver Siliga -- 26 of 56

Alan Branch -- 25 of 56

Joe Vellano -- 20 of 56

Quick-hit thoughts: With Chris Jones out with an elbow injury, it thrust Vellano into his role as a penetrating presence inside next to more stout run-stuffers in Wilfork, Siliga and Branch. Siliga missed some time in the second quarter with a foot injury but returned to the game. This group played better than it did against the Ravens in the divisional round.