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Falcons vs. Saints: Snap counts for Week 3’s loss

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The Falcons got some snaps, but were there any surprises?

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

Your weekly snap counts follow. I’m still trying to pretend the game ended after the Falcons scored 37 points with an Atlanta victory, so this is a short preamble.

Offense

Jake Matthews: 68

Wes Schweitzer: 68

Alex Mack: 68

Brandon Fusco: 68

Ryan Schraeder: 68

Matt Ryan: 68

Mohamed Sanu: 59

Austin Hooper: 58

Julio Jones: 54

Tevin Coleman: 53

Calvin Ridley: 42

Logan Paulsen: 21

Justin Hardy: 15

Marvin Hall: 12

Ito Smith: 10

Ricky Ortiz: 9

Eric Saubert: 5

Russell Gage: 2


Despite a huge day for the offense overall, there were some players here who didn’t do much with their snaps. I include the line in that. Mohamed Sanu is forgiven because he’s still blocking well even as his role in the passing game fades, but the offensive line had an uneven day and I genuinely didn’t even notice Ortiz’s nine snaps. He’s had a couple of solid blocks thus far, but on a day where the ground game was borderline useless, his blocking was not a noticeable net benefit for this offense.

The good news is that Ridley did a ton playing about two-thirds of the snaps, Ito Smith was awfully useful for just 10, and Ryan did a great job of spreading the ball around to his many weapons. The offense made some questionable decisions leading up to the half and need to be more balanced going forward, but it was still a hell of a day for them.

Defense

Robert Alford: 78

Desmond Trufant: 77

De’Vondre Campbell: 76

Damontae Kazee: 73

Brian Poole: 70

Grady Jarrett: 66

Ricardo Allen: 66

Vic Beasley: 65

Duke Riley: 63

Brooks reed: 62

Terrell McClain: 41

Deadrin Senat: 29

Jordan Richards: 25

Jack Crawford: 21

Foye Oluokun: 19

Steven Means: 18

Isaiah Oliver: 11

Justin Zimmer: 9


The Falcons played their best defenders a ton in this one, and while they had an uneven day overall at best, they really looked like they were tiring in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Falcons barely used Steven Means, leaning heavily on Brooks Reed and Vic Beasley with decidedly mixed results, and will have to hope that Means can earn more playing time in the coming weeks or that Takk comes back quickly. Ditto at defensive tackle, where the Flacons made the curious decision to use Crawford, arguably their second best pass rusher at defensive tackle, less than either McClain or Senat. It’s hard to argue that the pass rush benefitted from that decision.

Jordan Richards’ usage and Keith Tandy being parked on the inactives list should tell us how the Falcons will handle the strong safety position in Week 4 with Ricardo Allen out for the rest of the year, as anyone they sign is going to need to get up to speed. It’ll be Kazee and Richards back there with Tandy and maybe Brian Poole as key depth for at least one week, but don’t count the Falcons out of trading or signing a free agent to take over the position soon, especially if Richards falters.

Otherwise, there’s not a lot of surprising usage here. Oliver’s role should increase with Poole potentially getting a look at safety and struggling plenty in coverage, while Oluokun’s injury and Riley’s improvement in Week 3 probably means he’s not going to step into a bigger role anytime soon. It’ll be worth watching whether the Falcons use Crawford and Justin Zimmer more in an effort to goose the pass rush, too.

Special Teams

Russell Gage: 25

Kemal Ishmael: 23

Foye Oluokun: 22

Jordan Richards: 21

Eric Saubert: 21

Justin Bethel: 20

Marvin Hall: 18

Damontae Kazee: 18

Isaiah Oliver: 18

Matt Bosher: 17

Richard Jarvis: 17

Robert Alford: 16

Justin Hardy: 15

Logan Paulsen: 12

Josh Harris: 10

Brian Hill: 10

Jack Crawford: 9


It wasn’t all great, but teams looked better this week, and the decision to trot Marvin Hall out there for returns looked like a solid one, as he’s far more explosive than Justin Hardy. Returns have still been pretty dismal overall, but the coverage unit is at least picking up their game.

It helps to have Russell Gage out there, as he already looks like the terrific special teamer he was advertised as. The Falcons have lined up some fast, physical players there, though, and the additions of Oluokun, Richards, Bethel and Gage have gone a long way early here in the season.

If Alford looked like he was a little shaky in this one—and he did—perhaps the Falcons would consider dialing back his special teams snaps a bit. He’s a great player in both situations, but with the secondary depleted, the last thing they need to do is wear out their #2 cornerback further.