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Falcons vs. Saints 2016: Snap counts and neglecting anniversaries

This team continues to surprise me in a good way.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons walked right into their annoying neighbor's living room and turned over all of the furniture on their birthday. Not really, but this game was the equivalent, and that made it a fun one.

Let's take a look at the snap counts from this week's victory.


Chris Chester G: 64 (100%)
Jake Matthews T: 64
Ryan Schraeder T: 64
Andy Levitre G: 64
Alex Mack C: 64
Matt Ryan QB: 64
Julio Jones WR: 47
Jacob Tamme TE: 44
Devonta Freeman RB: 38
Taylor Gabriel WR: 36
Levine Toilolo TE: 29
Mohamed Sanu WR: 27
Tevin Coleman RB: 27
Justin Hardy WR: 21
Patrick DiMarco FB: 19
Aldrick Robinson WR: 17
Austin Hooper TE: 14
Eric Weems WR: 1

Atlanta's offense built off of last week's success with a 71% efficiency in the red zone versus the Saints. The offensive line dominated for most of the game, paving the way for Matt Ryan's 113.2 quarterback rating and 217 yards on the ground. From our small sample size, it looks as though all the offense needed was some stability at center and an extra offseason in the system.

Julio had one catch on seven targets, but no one should worry. Jones has been dealing with an ankle injury all season and is still drawing a lot of attention from other offensive weapons. Matt Ryan and Kyle Shanahan have been doing a nice job spreading the ball around and minimizing the impact of Julio's injury.

Hooper didn't have the impact I was expecting. After last week's explosive showing, he recorded no catches against the Saints. The Falcons likely found Toilolo's superior blocking as a better fit in the game plan, given their emphasis on the ground game.

It's also worth noting that Taylor Gabriel, the former Cleveland Brown, saw much more action than Hardy and Robinson. It could be just a one-time occurrence, but it's worth keeping an eye on over the next several weeks.


Ricardo Allen S: 81 (100%)
Desmond Trufant CB: 80
Robert Alford CB: 80
Deion Jones LB: 78
Brian Poole CB: 67
Sean Weatherspoon LB: 61
Adrian Clayborn DE: 57
Keanu Neal S: 52
Vic Beasley LB: 51
Derrick Shelby DT: 48
Jonathan Babineaux DT: 33
Dwight Freeney DE: 31
Kemal Ishmael S: 30
Brooks Reed DE: 28
Grady Jarrett DT: 25
Tyson Jackson DE: 22
C.J. Goodwin CB: 20
Ra'Shede Hageman DT: 19
Philip Wheeler LB: 14
O'Brien Schofield LB: 9
LaRoy Reynolds LB: 2
Julio Jones WR: 2
Ben Garland C: 1

The defense seems to have regressed since last year, but it's expected with so many young players now finding themselves as starters. In total, the defense fields six players who are either a rookie or in their second year. There's a lot of room to grow on this side of the ball.

The pass rush once again failed to get anything going, and I feel as if I'll be saying this a lot this season. Credit to Sean Payton and the Saints for dialing up plays on every drive to try and take Beasley and Freeney out of the picture. The argument could be made that the technique isn't there, and I'd agree. We have to keep in consideration, though, that many of these players are young and the art of pass rushing takes years to master.

Keanu played well, but rookie mistakes were made and that's okay. His hard-hitting presence was felt early and his speed was welcomed. Kemal Ishmael came in at multiple points in the game to let Neal have some plays off and not just rush the rookie out after surgery.

Let's also take a moment to say thanks to Deion Jones. Boy, I haven't been that excited about a Falcons' linebacker in a while. I feel so happy for him to have not only made a great play for the team but to have also done it in front of his hometown's folks. Way to go, man.

Special Teams

C.J. Goodwin: 20
Philip Wheeler: 19
Brian Poole: 18
Eric Weems: 18
Austin Hooper: 18
Matt Bosher: 17
O'Brien Schofield: 15
Robensen Therezie: 13
Tom Compton: 11
Ben Garland: 11
Derrick Shelby: 11
Josh Harris: 9
Desmond Trufant: 9
Justin Hardy: 9
Matt Bryant: 7
Jonathan Babineaux: 7
Robert Alford: 7
Aldrick Robinson: 7
Patrick DiMarco: 7
Andy Levitre: 7
Ryan Schraeder: 7
Jake Matthews: 7
Chris Chester: 7
Taylor Gabriel: 6
Deion Jones: 6
Kemal Ishmael: 6
Brooks Reed: 5
Sean Weatherspoon: 4
Grady Jarrett: 4
Tyson Jackson: 4
Levine Toilolo: 3
LaRoy Reynolds: 2
Ricardo Allen: 1
Jacob Tamme: 1
Julio Jones: 1

Special teams continue to be a reliable phase of this team. Matt Bryant was surgical as always, and Eric Weems found several seams for relatively successful returns. For a guy who was criticized out of the gate this season, Weems has turned it around and has given the Falcons' offense solid field position for two weeks straight.

Thoughts on the snap counts or the team's performance?