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Falcons snap counts from another glorious win over the Panthers

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Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Offense

Kaleb McGary: 65 (100%)

Jamon Brown: 65

Matt Ryan: 64

Jake Matthews: 64

James Carpenter: 64

Alex Mack: 64

Julio Jones: 53

Calvin Ridley: 52

Luke Stocker: 43

Brian Hill: 39

Jaeden Graham: 34

Russell Gage: 31

Keith Smith: 16

Kenjon Barner: 14

Qadree Ollison: 12

Justin Hardy: 12

Christian Blake: 10

Olamide Zaccheaus: 7

Ty Sambrailo: 3

Wes Schweitzer: 1

Sean Harlow: 1

Matt Schaub: 1


There are no great surprises here. The Falcons were once again not dominant on offense—they got four turnovers but managed just 20 points on their own, with Younghoe Koo booting four field goals and hitting three—but they were much sharper through the air than they were against New Orleans. Matt Ryan had a ton of success attacking the Panthers deep, hitting Calvin Ridley (8/8 for 143 yards and a touchdown) and Julio Jones (6/8 for 91 yards) over and over again downfield. Russell Gage did not have his expected breakout game, but he had two grabs for 32 yards and nearly had another touchdown on the day, and Jaeden Graham chipped in two grabs for 23 yards. Overall, though, this offense ran through its two stud receivers, which is just and fair with Austin Hooper on the shelf.

The ground game continues to operate in near-crisis mode. I saw a couple of plays where indecision plagued Brian Hill, but it was not an accident that Hill and Ollison combined for 19 carries and just 41 yards on the day. Kenjon Barner got more run, which was a plus considering what he did with his touches, but Hill is a capable enough back who needs more help. The run blocking continues to be unimaginably putrid, and Dirk Koetter’s decision to run the ball behind guys like James Carpenter, Alex Mack, and Jamon Brown when they haven’t done a good job of opening holes all year continues to be baffling and infuriating. Koetter is enemy #1 for the ground game, and I’ll be glad when the Falcons are rid of him or someone else takes over ground game coordination, whichever comes first.

For all those sour notes, the Falcons are putting up enough points to win if the defense continues to play well. The question becomes what happens if they get into a shootout, because they’re quietly still not anywhere near an elite unit, even if the passing game is slowly getting closer.

Defense

Kendall Sheffield: 72 (96%)

Ricardo Allen: 70

Desmond Trufant: 70

De’Vondre Campbell: 66

Damontae Kazee: 65

Isaiah Oliver: 64

Deion Jones: 61

Vic Beasley: 54

Grady Jarrett: 50

Jack Crawford: 44

Adrian Clayborn: 40

Tyeler Davison: 31

Foye Oluokun: 30

Allen Bailey: 28

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 27

Takk McKinley: 26

Jamal Carter: 11

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 5

Sharrod Neasman: 3

Jermaine Grace: 3

Jordan Miller: 3


There are plenty of interesting notes here. With Quinn stepping back to game planning and weighing in on personnel but no longer directly calling plays, the snap counts have shifted dramatically. Tyeler Davison and Allen Bailey are taking more of a backseat to Adrian Clayborn and Jack Crawford, and the results have been stark. Bailey’s looked better on his limited snaps, Clayborn has been a legitimate force for good in the pass rush, and Crawford has quietly done terrific work despite not coming up with any sacks of his own. With everyone in better positions to succeed, the secondary firing on all cylinders, and Beasley, Takk, and Jarrett making the most of their newfound time to the passer, this defense is a sight to behold right now.

For those wondering how Trufant would slot back in, the Falcons answered that one pretty easily. Tru looked fantastic in his return from injury, making the interception of the game in the end zone against Kyle Allen and playing his typically tight coverage all day. Trufant looked more willing to make tackles than he has in the past and with Sheffield excelling in coverage and Oliver playing the ball well and playing very physically, the starting cornerback trio is suddenly lights out. Kazee and Allen are balling out at safety and Blidi Wreh-Wilson is one of the more capable fourth cornerbacks in the NFL. Huge kudos to Raheem Morris for getting these guys playing better and both Morris and Ulbrich for putting the team in a better position to succeed, but this is how talented this secondary has been all along. I just hate that it took so long for them to get there, and hope they won’t flag as the season wears on.

Finally, spare a note for Tuioti-Mariner, who came in from the practice squad and was forced into significant snaps with injuries piling up. He’s played pretty well in his opportunities, and looks like someone who should be here next year as the Falcons are trying to fill out their defensive line.

Special Teams

Foye Oluokun: 17

Sharrod Neasman: 17

Jermaine Grace: 16

Olamide Zaccheaus: 15

Younghoe Koo: 13

Christian Blake: 12

Keith Smith: 12

Jacob Tuitoi-Mariner: 12

Jamal Carter: 12

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 11

Jaeden Graham: 11


No great surprises here. With Gage taking on a major role on offense, the Falcons have reduced his special teams snaps to near zero, but they have others who are stepping up. A special note to Qadree Ollison for his big, final block on Kenjon Barner’s excellent return, the first return touchdown for the Falcons since 2014.