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Falcons snap counts from that win, you remember the one, against the Saints

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Parsing the snap counts from Week 14.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images


Matt Ryan: 74

Jake Matthews: 74

Ben Garland: 74

Alex Mack: 74

Wes Schweitzer: 74

Ryan Schraeder: 74

Julio Jones: 54

Mohamed Sanu: 54

Devonta Freeman: 51

Austin Hooper: 50

Levine Toilolo: 43

Taylor Gabriel: 31

Derrick Coleman: 24

Tevin Coleman: 24

Justin Hardy: 22

Marvin Hall: 10

Ty Sambrailo: 5

Dontari Poe: 2

The weird and wonderful sight of Dontari Poe and Ty Sambrailo running a route was one of the many odd things we saw on Thursday night, and I don’t necessarily think it’ll be the last time we see something like that. Poe keeps defenses on their toes because you don’t know if he’s going to block or handle the ball, and Sambrailo could theoretically surprise a defense himself (he could have caught that touchdown, legitimately). As Steve Sarkisian gets more comfortable adding wrinkles to this offense, keep names like that in mind.

It’s notable how much the Falcons are using two tight ends, and how close Levine Toilolo’s snap counts were to Austin Hooper’s. Hooper is a strong blocker and certainly a capable receiver, but in practice he is making a ton of egregious mistakes, and he was both largely ineffective as a receiver and the cause of one of Matt Ryan’s interceptions Thursday night. It’s fair to wonder if a healthy Eric Saubert will start biting into his snap totals at some point, and whether we’ll start to see more Toilolo because he’s simply a more reliable option. I believe very strongly in Hooper’s talent, but there’s no point in pretending he’s not having a thoroughly mediocre 2017 thus far, either.

It’s striking how heavily the Falcons leaned on Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu in this game in particular, but also throughout the 2017 season. Justin Hardy is a sporadically useful receiver, Taylor Gabriel can do interesting things, and Hooper, Toilolo, and the running backs are fine when they get involved. It has been eye-opening to see the degree to which the Falcons have struggled to get other options involved, however, and it paves the way for guys like Saubert, Hall, and potentially 2018 rookies to get involved in the year ahead.

That said, some of it is just the will to get these guys involved, particularly Freeman and Coleman in the passing game. Hopefully Sark can figure out how to coax a little more out of his ancillary options.


Robert Alford: 52

Keanu Neal: 52

Desmond Trufant: 52

De’Vondre Campbell: 52

Deion Jones: 50

Ricardo Allen: 49

Grady Jarrett: 45

Dontari Poe: 43

Vic Beasley: 30

Brian Poole: 27

Brooks Reed: 26

Derrick Shelby: 23

Adrian Clayborn: 23

Kemal Ishmael: 13

Takk McKinley: 12

Ahtyba Rubin: 10

Courtney Upshaw: 8

Damontae Kazee: 3

LaRoy Reynolds: 2

There is so much variability in this defensive line rotation on a weekly basis that it probably would be healthiest to just give up figuring it out. Takk has been one of this team’s most lethal pass rushers in recent weeks, but he got the fewest snaps of anyone at defensive end this week. The Falcons gave Kemal Ishmael some more run against a team he has traditionally done well against, and they did a ton of rotating at end. It didn’t result in a dominant performance or anything, but the Falcons did a nice job of bottling up the Saints, and were able to ease Brian Poole back in a bit after he missed last Sunday with a back injury.

Regardless of the rotation, this was another terrific performance by the defense. They benefitted from not having to work against Alvin Kamara, but they kept the scoring low, stopped several drives cold, and came up with a handful of huge plays when they needed them most. They’ll get better in fits and starts, but there’s a lot to be encouraged about here.

Special Teams

Duke Riley: 19

Sharrod Neasman: 17

Damontae Kazee: 16

LaRoy Reynolds: 15

Levine Toilolo: 15

Derrick Coleman: 15

Matt Bosher: 11

Andre Roberts: 10

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 10

Terron Ward: 10

Aside from Riley getting more special teams snaps than anyone else, this is a list that looks pretty familiar at this point. Blidi Wreh-Wilson took over for C.J. Goodwin, largely, and that could mean Goodwin will find himself off the team or a weekly inactive from here on out. Riley’s best shot at getting playing time going forward is probably on special teams, where his speed plays well.