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Falcons vs. Broncos 2016: Snap counts and defeating champions

Just some happy numbers from a week five win over the reigning Super Bowl champions. Nothing major.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons went to Denver as the underdog for the fourth straight week. Turns out, they absolutely dominated the NFL's best in their own stadium, and they did some interesting things with their lineups along the way.

Let's enjoy this win, and take a quick look at the snap counts that came along with it.


Chris Chester G: 67 (100%)
Jake Matthews T: 67 
Ryan Schraeder T: 67 
Andy Levitre G: 67 
Matt Ryan QB: 67 
Alex Mack C: 67 
Julio Jones WR: 50 
Mohamed Sanu WR: 46 
Jacob Tamme TE: 45 
Levine Toilolo TE: 44 
Devonta Freeman RB: 40 
Patrick DiMarco FB: 27 
Tevin Coleman RB: 26 
Austin Hooper TE: 18 
Taylor Gabriel WR: 14 
Aldrick Robinson WR: 13 
Justin Hardy WR: 9 
Eric Weems WR: 3

The offense hit the ground running versus the league's premier defense. Matt Ryan and company only scored 23 points, but it was one of the most impressive performances of the year by Shanahan's squad. The "No Fly Zone" did a great job of keeping Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu quiet, but the running backs exposed Denver's second level all day, with 122 yards rushing and Coleman being the leading receiver at 132 yards.

The offensive line gave up two sacks, but Ryan was protected well otherwise and hit nine different targets with 17.8 yards per completion. Alex Mack and the rest of the offensive line are the biggest heroes of the season thus far -- giving Matt stability every single week. We couldn't say the same thing about the 2015 season, and that's the biggest difference between this team and the one last year.

One thing to take note of is the increased use of Levine Toilolo with Jacob Tamme. Since week one's loss against Tampa, the Falcons' weekly game plan has given Levine an increased workload. He almost never sees more than one or two targets a game, but his contribution in the blocking department hasn't gone unnoticed.


Desmond Trufant CB: 70 (100%)
Robert Alford CB: 70 
Ricardo Allen S: 70 
Keanu Neal S: 70 
Kemal Ishmael S: 59 
Brian Poole CB: 54 
Philip Wheeler LB: 53 
Vic Beasley LB: 42 
Adrian Clayborn DE: 41 
Derrick Shelby DT: 38 
Dwight Freeney DE: 33 
LaRoy Reynolds LB: 27 
Jonathan Babineaux DT: 27 
Brooks Reed DE: 23 
Grady Jarrett DT: 23 
Courtney Upshaw DT: 22 
Ra'Shede Hageman DT: 17 
Tyson Jackson DE: 16 
C.J. Goodwin CB: 13 
Ben Garland C: 2

THIS WAS A FUN ONE. The pass rush built upon its performance against the Panthers and absolutely dismantled the Broncos offensive line. Rookie Paxton lynch was sacked six times for 40 yards in a game where sacks seemed to be falling from the sky. In addition, Broncos tight ends accounted for zero catches. We are not dreaming. With a foundation of young talent on the defense, this group will only get better each week.

In the absence of Deion Jones, De'Vondre Campbell, and Sean Weatherspoon, guys like Philip Wheeler, LaRoy Reynolds, and Kemal Ishmael stepped up and put on the season's greatest defensive performance thus far. There was no apparent drop-off in quality of play, and a rookie Paxton Lynch struggled to move the ball all day. That's not something we can usually say as Falcons fans.

Vic Beasley put on the most impressive show by a defensive end that we've seen in a long time, with 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 8 tackles. For the fans calling Beasley a bust after just one season, it might be time to hold your tongue. Granted, this was against some not-so-great tackles, but we're taking baby steps.

Special Teams

Brooks Reed: 25
C.J. Goodwin: 22
Austin Hooper: 21
Eric Weems: 21
Robensen Therezie: 19
A.J. Hawk: 19
Justin Hardy: 18
Dashon Goldson: 16
Matt Bosher: 14
Brian Poole: 11
Patrick DiMarco: 9
Taylor Gabriel: 9
Desmond Trufant: 9
Derrick Shelby: 9
Josh Harris: 8
Tom Compton: 8
Ben Garland: 8
Aldrick Robinson: 7
LaRoy Reynolds: 7
Jacob Tamme: 6
Levine Toilolo: 6
Robert Alford: 6
Matt Bryant: 5
Jonathan Babineaux: 5
Philip Wheeler: 4
Tyson Jackson: 4
Grady Jarrett: 3
Ricardo Allen: 3
Mohamed Sanu: 3
Julio Jones: 3
Kemal Ishmael: 1

"Money" Matt Bryant is still perfect on the year with an 11/11 stat line after week five. The coverage team avoided any bad penalties this week and kept the Broncos offense within the 20 yard line several times. Eric Weems couldn't get much going, but as long as he isn't putting us in bad field position often and keeping the ball secure, I'm not complaining.

Thoughts on the counts from this week?