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Falcons - Saints snap counts: The last normal game of the year

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With the Falcons no longer contending, snap counts may start to change.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The less said about this game, the better. So let’s just lay out the snap counts, which may shift considerably in the weeks ahead as the team’s priorities shift.

Offense

QB Matt Ryan: 70

Jake Matthews: 70

Wes Schweitzer: 70

Alex Mack: 70

Ben Garland: 70

Ryan Schraeder: 70

Julio Jones: 62

Mohamed Sanu: 57

Calvin Ridley: 52

Austin Hooper: 48

Tevin Coleman: 35

Ito Smith: 26

Logan Paulsen: 20

Eric Saubert: 13

Justin Hardy: 10

Ricky Ortiz: 7

Brian Hill: 6

Ty Sambrailo: 2


The Falcons did a couple of novel things here, getting Brian Hill on the field, giving more than just a handful of snaps to Saubert, and giving Sambrailo some time on the field. None of that amounted to a hill of beans, really, but we’ve been looking forward to seeing a little bit of all of that except Sambrailo.

The rest doesn’t need to be said. The Falcons executed at a level that could be described as “lousy,” but it wasn’t because of who they gave their snaps to.

Defense

Desmond Trufant: 57

Robert Alford: 57

Damontae Kazee: 56

Grady Jarrett: 46


Foye Oluokun: 44

De’Vondre Campbell: 41

Brian Poole: 38

Sharrod Neasman: 35

Jack Crawford: 35

Takkarist McKinley: 32

Vic Beasley: 28

Terrell McClain: 27

Duke Riley: 25

Jordan Richards: 23

Bruce Irvin: 23

Brooks Reed: 19

Derrick Shelby: 18

Bruce Carter: 12

Kemal Ishmael: 9

Isaiah Oliver: 2


Once again, the Falcons didn’t do anything too crazy here. Neasman started but Richards got plenty of time at safety, Vic and Takk got the larger number of snaps at defensive end, Jarrett and Crawford took the lion’s share of snaps at defensive tackle, and the Falcons gave Isaiah Oliver basically no time at all to prove himself while Alford struggled again.

Atlanta put up a surprisingly game showing in this one, all things considered, but the pass rush was lackluster, the run defense was subpar and the coverage was spotty despite that. The Falcons aren’t getting the job done defensively right now, but they’re keeping the offense in games despite an extremely shaky pass rush, which should be taken as a sign of small progress. The question is whether they’ll start prioritizing the likes of Senat, Oluokun and Oliver even more in the weeks ahead as they build toward 2019. Honestly, they should.

Special Teams

Duke Riley: 19

Kemal Ishmael: 16

Eric Saubert: 13

Logan Paulsen: 12

Russell Gage: 12

Justin Bethel: 12

Bruce Carter: 12

Marvin Hall: 11

Brian Hill: 10


If Ishmael is going to miss any time, the Falcons will be down a core special teamer the rest of the way.

The Falcons spent a ton of time shoring up special teams in 2019, which was no great surprise given how good they expected their team to be. The net result has been hugely improved performance on teams, and we’ll have to hope that’s sustainable given that many of the players the Falcons have relied upon to fuel that improvement (among them Ishmael, Logan Paulsen, Bruce Carter, and Justin Bethel) will be free agents after the season’s over. It’ll be incumbent on the likes of Riley, Hall, Saubert and Gage to ensure the team doesn’t lapse in 2019.