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Falcons snap counts: Takk McKinley, Justin Hardy see increased playing time vs. Panthers

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It worked out well for both, and for the Falcons.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Offense

Matt Ryan: 72

Jake Matthews: 72

Wes Schweitzer: 72

Ryan Schraeder: 72

Alex Mack: 71

Ben Garland: 67

Mohamed Sanu: 61

Justin Hardy: 58

Austin Hooper: 58

Julio Jones: 54

Tevin Coleman: 41

Devonta Freeman: 38

Derrick Coleman: 14

Eric Saubert: 10

Ty Sambrailo: 10

Taylor Gabriel: 9

Andre Roberts: 8

Andy Levitre: 5


Injury shook everything up on offense, where the Falcons lost a starting left guard after five snaps, had to do without Levine Toilolo, and lost their third receiver early on. That meant a huge jump in playing time for Justin Hardy, who blocked well and made a couple of nice catches, and Ben Garland, who once again was a terrific guard against Carolina.

The other interesting note that will probably be moot with Levine Toilolo returning is this: The Falcons used Ty Sambrailo as an extra blocker at times and effectively putting him on the field as often as Eric Saubert, which clearly means they don’t see a major role for the rookie in the playoffs (surprise) and that they trust Sambrailo as a blocker. That may become relevant again in a goal line package or two in the playoffs.

Defense

Robert Alford: 61

Keanu Neal: 61

Ricardo Allen: 61

Desmond Trufant: 61

De’Vondre Campbell: 61

Deion Jones: 61

Brian Poole: 48

Grady Jarrett: 45

Dontari Poe: 35

Vic Beasley: 35

Adrian Clayborn: 33

Takk McKinley: 30

Brooks Reed: 20

Derrick Shelby: 17

Courtney Upshaw: 11

Duke Riley: 8

Ahtyba Rubin: 8

Kemal Ishmael: 5


This is sort of the ideal version of the defensive end rotation, in my humble opinion. Getting Beasley, Clayborn, and Takk on the field more often than Reed or Shelby led to some moments of truly ferocious pass rush against Carolina, with Shelby and Reed doing their customary terrific work against the run. There isn’t a bad player in this rotation, but I’ve been stumping for more Beasley and Takk all season long, and we saw good things from both of them Sunday.

The Falcons have also gotten Duke Riley and Kemal Ishmael involved in a small number of snaps every week, with Ishmael working primarily on obvious run downs and Riley working on passing downs. It’s working!

Special Teams

Kemal Ishmael: 24

Duke Riley: 23

Damontae Kazee: 23

Derrick Coleman: 22

LaRoy Reynolds: 22

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 21

Sharrod Neasman: 19

Matt Bosher: 18

Terron Ward: 15

Eric Saubert: 11

Josh Harris: 11

Andre Roberts: 10

Justin Hardy: 10


Keith Armstrong’s special teams continues to be bedeviled (sure, let’s go with that sequence of words) by mistakes by the players the team theoretically counts on most. Even with Andre Roberts making better decisions on returns, Damontae Kazee got nailed with a potentially costly penalty for making contact with a returner on a fair catch, and Roberts had a nice return thoroughly erased by penalty. Some of that has to hang on Armstrong, but maybe the players could stop doing that, perhaps?