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Falcons vs. Seahawks snap counts: What will carry over to the Tampa Bay game?

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There are some trends behind the snap counts.

Atlanta Falcons v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images

We’re a few days removed from the Falcons beating the Seahawks, and we’re just a couple of days away from the Falcons playing the Buccaneers. Given that, this is probably the last glance backward we’ll take, and I wanted to keep looking forward.

In that spirit, we’ll look at these snap counts for Monday night’s game with an eye on what we can learn from them for the Bucs game. In recent weeks, at least, there have been some very noticeable trends.

Offense

Matt Ryan: 62

Jake Matthews: 62

Alex Mack: 62

Wes Schweitzer: 62

Ryan Schraeder: 62

Andy Levitre: 61

Julio Jones: 50

Mohamed Sanu: 47

Tevin Coleman: 42

Austin Hooper: 39

Taylor Gabriel: 34

Levine Toilolo: 31

Terron Ward: 18

Derrick Coleman: 17

Justin Hardy: 17

Marvin Hall: 8

Ben Garland: 4

Eric Saubert: 3

Dontari Poe: 1


The Falcons are getting Levine Toilolo and Derrick Coleman a little more involved, probably due to the quality of the defensive fronts they’ve been facing. That may not be necessary against Tampa Bay, which has a quality but not stellar line. They’ve also been slowly ratcheting down Marvin Hall’s snaps, which makes sense his production and ability at this stage of his career versus, say, Justin Hardy.

Getting Devonta Freeman back soon will throw some of this back into flux, but the Falcons are doing a nice job of getting their playmakers on the field and tailoring their gameplan to opponents a little bit, with better results (minus some dumb mistakes versus Carolina) over their last three weeks.

The one final, interesting note: Eric Saubert actually got some playing time, and Dontari Poe continues to get involved minimally, too. The Falcons could have some very interesting red zone and goal line packages with Poe as a blocker and Saubert, who theoretically offers much more speed and playmaking ability than Toilolo.

Defense

De’Vondre Campbell: 72

Robert Alford: 71

Ricardo Allen: 71

Desmond Trufant: 69

Deion Jones: 63

Dontari Poe: 59

Brian Poole: 58

Grady Jarrett: 53

Adrian Clayborn: 53

Vic Beasley: 47

Takkarist McKinley: 29

Courtney Upshaw: 20

Brooks Reed: 16

Derrick Shelby: 15

Ahtyba Rubin: 15

C.J. Goodwin: 13

Kemal Ishmael: 9

Damontae Kazee: 6

LaRoy Reynolds: 5

Sean Weatherspoon: 2


The Falcons have very clearly arrived on a winning strategy at defensive end: Play Adrian Clayborn a lot. They’ve continued to get Takk McKinley more snaps than Derrick Shelby and Brooks Reed, and both Reed and particularly Shelby have responded by playing pretty well with their limited looks. Tampa Bay can run the ball better than Seattle or Dallas have been able to, though, so I fully expect Shelby and Reed to pull more snaps.

Earlier this season, I leveled some criticism at the Falcons for playing Poe and Jarrett so much after they specifically talked about having Poe lose weight and potentially play more sparingly, but Jarrett is a wrecking ball and Poe is really settling in, so nevermind. They don’t have a ton of alternatives beyond Rubin and Upshaw, anyways, and both of those players are better against the run to begin with.

The Falcons have really settled in along their front seven, which I think is critically important for them to achieve consistent performance the rest of the way. The only note out of the ordinary here is that C.J. Goodwin actually got some snaps, perhaps for the Falcons to see how he looked before they made a final decision on Jalen Collins.

Special Teams

Kemal Ishmael: 24

Damontae Kazee: 21

Derrick Coleman: 18

LaRoy Reynolds: 17

Eric Saubert: 17

Matt Bosher: 16

Justin Hardy: 15

Sean Weatherspoon: 14

Ty Sambrailo: 12

Ben Garland: 12

Marvin Hall: 10

Levine Toilolo:

Brooks Reed: 10


Special teams has been a bit of a disaster in 2017, and while the team clearly puts a ton of trust in players like Kemal Ishmael, Kazee, and Saubert, you have to scrutinize every bit of this unit to see where problems lie. It’s not just Keith Armstrong not coaching players up or Andre Roberts flubbing returns, though both of those things are happening to some degree. It’s a question of whether players not named Ishmael and Coleman are really playing all that well, and I think it’s an open question.