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Falcons vs. Chiefs 2018: Snap counts and notes for the second preseason game

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The Atlanta Falcons played some preseason football last night, but who got time and who shone?

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Snap counts! During the season, they help to illuminate who is dominating snaps and who is limited to special teams after you’ve watched the game, and provide us an opportunity to look for trends. In preseason, they tell us who the Falcons are serious about getting an extended look at.

Let’s break down this week’s snap counts for Falcons vs. Chiefs.

Offense

T Matt Gono: 33

G Ben Garland: 33

T Ty Sambrailo: 33

RB Ito Smith: 29

TE Eric Saubert: 27

G Jamil Douglas: 23

G Wes Schweitzer: 23

QB Matt Schaub: 23

TE Logan Paulsen: 19

WR Calvin Ridley: 19

WR Reggie Davis: 19

C J.C. Hassenauer: 19

G Sean Harlow: 19

WR Devin Gray: 18

WR Justin Hardy: 17

QB Kurt Benkert: 15

WR Russell Gage: 14

T Jake Matthews: 14

T Ryan Schraeder: 14

C Alex Mack: 14

G Brandon Fusco: 14

QB Matt Ryan: 14

FB Ricky Ortiz: 13

WR Marvin Hall: 12

WR Mohamed Sanu: 11

RB Justin Crawford: 10

TE Austin Hooper: 10

RB Tevin Coleman: 10

T Austin Pasztor: 9

G Salesi Uhatafe: 9

WR Christian Blake: 9

T/G Daniel Brunskill: 9

WR Dontez Byrd: 8

TE Jaeden Graham: 8

TE Troy Mangen: 7

WR Lamar Jordan: 5

FB Luke McNitt: 3

WR Cody Pearson: 3

RB Malik Williams: 3

RB Terrence Magee: 2


The Falcons have all but decided the fullback battle, by all appearances, which is perhaps the biggest takeaway here. Luke McNitt barely played, while Ricky Ortiz made the most of his 13 snaps, coming away with two receptions and some nice blocks.

The Falcons also mixed up their offensive line quite a bit last night, giving Matt Gono a surprising number of snaps ahead of Austin Pasztor. I thought Gono played pretty well, all things considered, and he should be in line for a practice squad spot if he keeps that up. The team may not carry four tackles, but they’ll need a de facto one around if something happens to a starter.

It’s also noteworthy that Marvin Hall got far fewer snaps than other receiving options Friday night, and yet still managed to post the third-highest receiving total on the night. There’s an odd reluctance in some corners of this fanbase to accept it, but I think the Falcons have more or less decided he’s on the roster.

Defense

S Marcelis Branch: 47

DB Secdrick Cooper: 43

LB Anthony Wimbush: 33

S/CB Chris Lammons: 33

DT Garrison Smith: 33

DE J’Terius Jones: 28

LB Jon Celestin: 27

CB: Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 27

DT Jon Cunningham: 25

DE/DT Mackendy Cheridor: 25

LB Emmanuel Smith: 24

LB Duke Riley: 24

CB Deante Burton: 24

CB Isaiah Oliver: 23

CB Leon McFadden: 23

LB Richard Jarvis: 22

LB Foye Oluokun: 22

DT Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 21

DT Jordan Zimmer: 21

LB Kemal Ishmael: 19

S Ricardo Allen: 18

CB Robert Alford: 18

S Keanu Neal: 18

CB Brian Poole: 16

DT Grady Jarrett: 13

LB De’Vondre Campbell: 13

DE Derrick Shelby: 10

DE Takkarist McKinley: 10

DT Terrell McClain: 9

DE Brooks Reed: 9

DT Jack Crawford: 9

CB Desmond Trufant: 9

DE Vic Beasley: 9

DT Deadrin Senat: 8

LB Emmanuel Ellerbe: 6

S Tyson Graham: 6

CB Justin Bethel: 5

DB Ryan Neal: 4

S Damontae Kazee: 2

S Ron Parker: 1


The Falcons decided to take a long look at the likes of Wimbush, Branch, Lammons, Smith and Cooper. That was probably to give these guys a shot to prove themselves, by and large, and Lammons looked solid, Branch decent in spurts, and Smith had a couple of legitimately nice plays. I’d say that Cooper, like Graham last week, probably hurt his chances of making this roster with his performance.

The Falcons are trying to figure out back ends of position groups at the moment, and a guy like Garrison Smith set himself up nicely to be the fifth defensive tackle, while Lammons is pushing hard for a practice squad spot in a crowded secondary. It’s fair to say that the deep reserves did not have a good night overall, but a small handful of players did help themselves, and I’d put those two guys at the top of it.

One note: Justin Bethel barely played, and at this point it’s fair to wonder whether that’s because he’s an easy roster pick or if it’s because he might be losing ground given the special teams value shown by guys like Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. We’ll see if the Falcons address it this week, but I’d still bet the former

Special Teams

Richard Jarvis: 12

Isaiah Oliver: 11

Marcelis Branch: 10

Foye Oluokun: 9

Russell Gage: 9

Ricky Ortiz: 9

Matt Bosher: 8

Ito Smith: 7

Eric Saubert: 7

Emmanuel Ellerbe: 6

Damontae Kazee: 6

Ron Parker: 6


I listed everyone with five or more special teams snaps, because there were several dudes with just one or two. This tells a story in and of itself.

If you’re not guaranteed a starting job, as is the case for the likes of Oluokun, Gage, and Saubert, you need to prove you belong on special teams. Oluokun is an excellent tackler, Gage an outstanding special teamer in general, and Saubert’s blocking is improved in his second year. Kazee and Parker will, of course, find plenty of time as well.

Also interesting: Jarvis and Branch, who got very long looks on defense, also led the team in special teams snaps. Branch is a good athlete who hung around all last year and may be a practice squad candidate once more, while Jarvis showed himself to be a physical, (overly) enthusiastic run stopper against the Chiefs. If the Falcons liked what they saw on special teams, it can only help their chances of hanging around in some capacity for the 2018 season.