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Falcons vs. Panthers: Snap counts and angry notes for Week 14

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The notes just keep getting angrier!

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Offense

Chris Chester: 64 (100%)
Andy Levitre: 64
Mike Person: 64
Jake Matthews: 64
Ryan Schraeder: 54
Jacob Tamme: 54
Roddy White: 53
Matt Ryan: 53
Justin Hardy: 48
Julio Jones: 45
Devonta Freeman: 43
Patrick DiMarco: 21
Levine Toilolo: 19
Nick Williams: 18
Tevin Coleman: 13
Sean Renfree: 11
Jake Long: 10
Eric Weems: 5
Devin Hester: 1

This is a mess this week. The Falcons yanked Ryan late in the game to keep him from getting hurt in a blowout, while Ryan Schraeder mouthed off to a bunch of Panthers and got pulled for Jake Long late, too. There's still plenty of befuddling snap counts on this list, even if you take those out.

Let's start with Julio being on the field less than Roddy and Justin Hardy. including a bizarre goal line play where he wasn't in the package. Some of that was undoubtedly resting Julio late, but with the Falcons trying to scrape together a little dignity with a score, you'd have to think Julio would be in there. Yet he was not.

Meanwhile, the Falcons continue to be unable to effectively target the receivers who are getting a ton of snaps, with Roddy picking up just four catches, Hardy getting just one, and Tamme also standing on just four. Levine Toilolo was targeted just once, and it's starting to feel like the Falcons just have a bunch of bodies at receiver and tight end who are there to mill around until Matt Ryan desperately flings it in their general direction. Beyond frustrating to watch.

The one positive note is that Tevin Coleman is finally getting some change-of-pace snaps and giving Devonta Freeman a little bit of a break. The bad news is that the two of them only wound up with a grand total of 15 carries because this was such a blowout again, and the ground game has been unfortunately quiet since Freeman returned, though I don't blame him at all for that.

Defense

Ricardo Allen: 65
Justin Durant: 65
Desmond Trufant: 64
Robert Alford: 64
Paul Worrilow: 63
O'Brien Schofield: 40
Tyson Jackson: 40
Kroy Biermann: 39
Kemal Ishmael: 31
Grady Jarrett: 29
Robenson Therezie: 28
Ra'Shede Hageman: 28
Jonathan Babineaux: 26
Vic Beasley: 26
Philip Adams: 25
Adrian Clayborn: 25
Brooks Reed: 24
Joey Mbu: 24
William Moore: 6
Philip Wheeler: 2
Nate Stupar: 1

This is just utterly baffling. Paul Worrilow and Justin Durant are pulling down a ton of snaps out of necessity, and I understand that even if it's hurting the team at this point. But why is Joey Mbu getting 24 snaps when Grady Jarrett, who at least was effectively cleaving through the line at times, gets just 29? Why on earth is Adams back in the lineup after weeks off while Jalen Collins is parked back on the bench, despite the fact that the Falcons are clearly dead in the water, fell behind extremely early, and had decided Adams wasn't part of their plan? Is Brooks Reed so bad right how that he shouldn't be stealing at least a couple of snaps away from Worrilow? Where is Philip Wheeler?

The Falcons got annihilated on defense yesterday, especially early, and what rankles is that these snap counts reflect neither the urgent need to win or the smart usage of young players in order to develop them. Phillip Adams might be a little bit better than Jalen Collins right now, but he's almost certainly not going to return in 2016, and Collins is a second round rookie in need of development. Maybe there was some infraction we're unaware of that spurred this, but I cannot think of a single compelling football reason to sit Collins in favor of Adams.

The one smart thing the Falcons did (and partially out of necessity, given that William Moore got hurt) was parking Moore in favor of Robenson Therezie and Kemal Ishmael. The writing is on the wall for Moore at this point, and the Falcons need to figure out if they're going to give Therezie in particular a shot at a starting gig down the line.

Special Teams

Kemal Ishmael: 23
Nate Stupar: 23
Kroy BIermann: 19
Patrick DiMarco: 16
Phillip Adams: 14
Jalen Collins: 14
Levine Toilolo: 13
Robenson Therezie: 13
Devin Hester: 11
O'Brien Schofield: 11
Eric Weems: 10
Ricardo Allen: 10
Desmond Trufant: 7
Tony Moeaki: 7
Robert Alford: 7
Grady Jarrett: 7
Ra'Shede Hageman: 6
Matt Bosher: 6
Adrian Clayborn: 6
Paul Worrilow: 6
Tyson Jackson: 6
Nick Williams: 5
Josh Harris: 5
Justin Hardy: 4
Philip Wheeler: 4

At this point in the season, what these special teams counts tell you is who you should keep an eye on next year for special teams. Kroy Biermann has been a valuable run defender and core special teamer, and that means there's a decent shot he'll be back, in my mind. Kemal Ishmael is a cheap reserve safety with a ton of special teams value, so he'll be back. Nate Stupar is not an awful linebacker and plays a ton on this side of the ball, so he could be back.

As long as Keith Armstrong is here, he'll likely get to pick a handful of guys he feels offer tremendous value on the unit, and I think the three in the paragraph above are most likely safe for 2016 based on his preference. I guess we'll see.