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Atlanta Falcons snap counts for Week 4 vs. Buffalo

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How did the team divvy up snaps, and what can we learn?

Buffalo Bills v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons lost to the Buffalo Bills, obviously. That’s done, over with, we’re on to the bye week.

Before we get there, though, let’s talk some snap counts. Everybody loves a good snap count or two.

Offense

Andy Levitre: 75

Jake Matthews: 75

Ty Sambrailo: 75

Wes Schweitzer: 75

Alex Mack: 75

Matt Ryan: 75

Taylor Gabriel: 60

Austin Hooper: 59

Justin Hardy: 58

Devonta Freeman: 49

Mohamed Sanu: 31

Levine Toilolo: 29

Nick Williams: 28

Tevin Coleman: 27

Derrick Coleman: 15

Julio Jones: 15

Andre Roberts: 4


I think the most damning stats from this side of the ball are pretty obvious after looking at these snap counts. They are, in no particular order:

  • Ty Sambrailo played all 75 snaps. He wasn’t bad, per se, but the dropoff from Ryan Schraeder to Ty Sambrailo is significant enough that you can’t help but notice it. The left side of the line wasn’t great in this one, but obviously Ryan’s much more comfortable working with Schraeder in front of him.
  • The Falcons gave Taylor Gabriel, Austin Hooper, and Justin Hardy more than 75% of the snaps at receiver and tight ends, and they got....seven catches for 62 yards. Gabriel had zero of those.

    I’ve fretted before about Gabriel’s usage, because he’s a talented player who functions best as a dangerous weapon an offense schemes to get open, and Steve Sarkisian has not shown the same interest as Kyle Shanahan in getting that done. When your #3 and #4 receivers can’t pull in more than two receptions in a game where Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu are out, you’re in a spot of trouble.

Frankly, my greatest concern going forward is that Gabriel and Hardy aren’t going to be able to get open and make the big catches they need to with Sanu hurt. That’s a legitimate concern with any team’s #3 and #4, sure, but the problem was illustrated pretty vividly on Sunday.

Defense

Robert Alford: 60

Deion Jones: 60

Damontae Kazee: 60

Desmond Trufant: 60

Keanu Neal: 58

De’Vondre Campbell: 58

Dontari Poe: 46

Grady Jarrett: 43

Duke Riley: 39

Brooks Reed: 36

Derrick Shelby: 35

Brian Poole: 24

Takkarist McKinley: 24

Adrian Clayborn: 23

Joe Vellano: 16

Jack Crawford: 12

Ben Garland: 4

Sharrod Neasman: 2


Defensively, things went much better for Atlanta. They played Brian Poole less in favor of a third linebacker in Duke Riley, and they were largely able to limit the Bills’ offense. Joe Vellano continues to get a solid number of snaps on this defense, while the Falcons took Takk McKinley and Adrian Clayborn snaps and gave them to Derrick Shelby and Brooks Reed. Both played well, so I wouldn’t say I’d quibble with the decisions Atlanta made here.

Hell, Ben Garland got four snaps! That’s always a plus.

Special Teams

Kemal Ishmael: 21

C.J. Goodwin: 21

Jordan Tripp: 16

Eric Saubert: 16

Derrick Coleman: 16

Brian Hill: 13

Sharrod Neasman: 13

Andre Roberts: 10

Robert Alford: 10

Justin Hardy: 10

Matt Bosher: 10


At this point, neither has been a factor on defense, but C.J. Goodwin and Kemal Ishmael are probably the most essential special teamers in Keith Armstrong’s eyes, at least outside of the likes of Matt Bryant, Matt Bosher, and Andre Roberts. They are good what they do, and they are out there every time.

Eric Saubert, Derrick Coleman, and now Jordan Tripp look like every week features here, too. As long as Tripp has real special teams value to Armstrong and company, chances are good he’ll continue to be active while Jermaine Grace is inactive.

I really think the most telling part of these snap counts is what the Falcons’ receivers were unable to do when Julio and Sanu exited, but this was yet another very tight game that came down to the last play. I’m not prepared to use these counts as a weapon against anybody just yet.