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Falcons Snap Counts for Week 4 Against the Vikings

A breakdown of snaps for the Falcons against Minnesota.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The quality of play in Atlanta yesterday was inexcusably lousy in more than one facet, and we're all trying to sort through who should be held accountable for that. Our writers will have general and specific overviews of players and what's to be done about the unit in the coming days, so be prepared for some unhappy talk.

In the meantime, though, we may be able to glean some small insight from the number of snaps each player received on Sunday. I've broken these snap counts, courtesy of the NFL, down by specific unit. If you received fewer than five snaps on special teams, remember, I'm not going to bother listing to you to save myself a little time and tedium.

On to the snap counts.


Jake Matthews: 67 (100%)
Matt Ryan: 67
Levine Toilolo: 66
Jon Asamoah: 65
Roddy White: 62
Julio Jones: 62
Joe Hawley: 53
Lamar Holmes: 47
Gabe Carimi: 41
Devin Hester: 37
Justin Blalock: 34
Steven Jackson: 30
Peter Konz: 23
Jacquizz Rodgers: 21
Patrick DiMarco: 18
Bear Pascoe: 16
Eric Weems: 10
Devonta Freeman: 9
Antone Smith: 8

Poor Toilolo was out there for all but one snap for many reasons, not the least of which was his turn as a 6'8", underweight right tackle. As you can see, the Falcons continue to work in all their running backs, with Jackson and Rodgers getting the majority of the snaps. It's worth noting that Jackson once again was the team's most productive back outside of Smith, who received his custom number of snaps here.

If the Falcons are missing Justin Blalock, Lamar Holmes and Joe Hawley for any length of time, you'll see Ryan Schraeder, perhaps James Stone and Bear Pascoe pulling down more snaps in the weeks to come. Everything here is about as you'd expect, though.


Dwight Lowery: 76 (100%)
Paul Worrilow: 76
Desmond Trufant: 76
Robert Alford: 72
Kemal Ishmael: 66
Kroy Biermann: 57
Prince Shembo: 57
Jonathan Babineaux: 52
Malliciah Goodman: 48
Corey Peters: 46
Tyson Jackson: 45
Robert McClain: 43
Paul Soliai: 31
Osi Umenyiora: 20
Dezmen Southward: 16
Ra'Shede Hageman: 14
Stansly Maponga: 14
Jonathan Massaquoi: 12
William Moore: 10
Joplo Bartu: 5

It's obvious that Mike Nolan's dramatic shift in snaps meted out against the Buccaneers was caused by the team's huge lead, not any change in philosophy. Biermann once again dominated snaps, with Massaquoi pulling down just 12 and Stansly Maponga getting just 14 snaps. Shembo has taken away the starting job from Bartu, which may be for the best in the longterm, but as one of my colleagues will talk about tomorrow, it may not be a good thing that Worrilow is playing every single snap. Ditto Dwight Lowery, frankly.

This defense is a mess across the board right now, and it's a combination of a talent deficit and Nolan's inability to recognize that the players he's putting on the field are failing to get the job done. When you get gashed for about 200 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, playing run-stoppers with reputations for quality play but very little actual quality play in 2014 is useless, and that's what we're seeing with Biermann's 57 snaps and Tyson Jackson's 45 snaps. That's coming at the expense of players like Mass, who actually can rush the passer to some degree, and Ra'Shede Hageman, who despite the scorn heaped upon him is a promising project who needs more opportunities.

There's no way around it: This defense has sucked. If Nolan's serious about improving it, he's going to need to juggle these snap counts going forward, and some of the bedrock guys on this defense are going to have to play a hell of a lot better. Easier said than done, but something must change.

Special Teams

Joplo Bartu: 22
Nate Stupar: 21
Eric Weems: 21
Antone Smith: 21
Josh Wilson: 19
Dezmen Southward: 18
Kemal Ishmael: 15
Matt Bosher: 14
Jacquizz Rodgers: 13
Patrick DiMarco: 13
Devin Hester: 11
Ra'Shede Hageman: 11
Paul Soliai: 10
Josh Harris: 9
Kroy Biermann: 9
Gabe Carimi: 8
Dwight Lowery: 8
Paul Worrilow: 8
Jonathan Babineaux: 8
Prince Shembo: 7
Robert Alford: 7
Levine Toilolo: 6
Courtney Roby: 5
Jonathan Massaquoi: 5
Bear Pascoe: 5
Matt Bryant: 4

It was an all-hands-on-deck kind of day for the Falcons, who had guys playing special teams who normally would barely sniff the field there. It's notable that Hageman got more special teams snaps than usual, which could be his ticket to more playing time, and that Kemal Ishmael still played 15 special teams snaps despite being the starter for most of the game. With Bartu barely getting on the field on defense, special teams ace may be his new role going forward. Let's hope he excels.

The unit as a whole didn't play nearly as well as it had the first three weeks, especially the coverage units. It's hard to say how much of that was poor play and the Vikings' special teams skills and how much of it was revealed by injury, but either way, just one more disappointing note.

Your thoughts on these snap counts?