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Falcons playoff snap counts: A breakdown of the Rams game

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Who had a hand in the victory on Saturday?

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

En route to victory on Saturday, the Falcons surprisingly made Marvin Hall and Eric Saubert inactives. Did that impact the snap counts at all? Hey, what were the snap counts?

Glad you asked. You’ll find those below, along with our typical notes from the game.

Offense

Matt Ryan: 73

Jake Matthews: 73

Ben Garland: 73

Alex Mack: 73

Wes Schweitzer: 73

Ryan Schraeder: 73

Austin Hooper: 58

Julio Jones: 56

Mohamed Sanu: 53

Levine Toilolo: 46

Devonta Freeman: 45

Tevin Coleman: 29

Justin Hardy: 28

Taylor Gabriel: 17

Ty Sambrailo: 7

Terron Ward: 2

Dontari Poe: 1

Nick Williams: 1


The Falcons are leaning heavily on their best players on offense, and as you’ll see in the breakdown here, that includes Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper, and to a lesser extent Tevin Coleman and Justin Hardy. The first four names on that list did much of the damage on offense against the Rams, and while the Falcons did stall out plenty, they managed 26 points against a good defense. It’s (sort of) working!

The two big takeaways here are that Taylor Gabriel appears to have fallen behind Hardy in the pecking order, and that Ty Sambrailo on offense is A Thing now. Sambrailo’s getting a small handful of snaps per game as a blocker and quasi-tight end, while Gabriel appears to be behind Hardy because he offers less as a blocker and isn’t quite as reliable over the middle of the field. If Steve Sarkisian figures out a way to get him open again, Turbo could be lethal, but since that has only happened in fits and starts, expect these snap counts to continue.

Defense

Robert Alford: 68

Keanu Neal: 68

Brian Poole: 68

Desmond Trufant: 68

Ricardo Allen: 68

Deion Jones: 67

Grady Jarrett: 53

Adrian Clayborn: 48

De’Vondre Campbell: 47

Vic Beasley: 46

Dontari Poe: 45

Takk McKinley: 32

Brooks Reed: 18

Derrick Shelby: 15

Courtney Upshaw: 14

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 11

Duke Riley: 10


Nothing needs to change here. The Falcons’ secondary has been borderline dominant in recent weeks, and that continued against the Rams, with smothering coverage and excellent tackling winning the day. Atlanta continues to prioritize Clayborn, Beasley and McKinley at defensive end, which is leading to more pressure, including a three sack effort against Jared Goff and the Rams. And when Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell are on the field, good things tend to happen.

Honestly, this is fast becoming one of the better Falcons defenses I’ve seen in my lifetime, and they are continuing to make strides on a seemingly weekly basis. With a Carson Wentz-less Eagles team coming up, they may have a chance to build on this impressive performance, too.

Special Teams

Duke Riley: 21

Kemal Ishmael: 21

Derrick Coleman: 18

Nick Williams: 18

Matt Bosher: 18

LaRoy Reynolds: 17

Damontae Kazee: 17

Sharrod Neasman: 15

Levine Toilolo: 13

Robert Alford: 13

Dontari Poe: 12

Terron Ward: 11

Josh Harris: 11

Ty Sambrailo: 10

Keanu Neal: 10


The Falcons continue to cobble this thing together. The special teams unit managed a couple of big plays, but Andre Roberts still rarely has anywhere to go on his returns, and they still make big mistakes when opposing teams are returning the football. Damontae Kazee has been a mixed bag as a gunner, all told, and Nick Williams is a try-hard player who has value but should not really be in the business of tackling. Every week where this unit makes more positive plays than negative ones is a good week, though.