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Falcons snap counts from the turkey of an effort against the Saints

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Atlanta ran way too many offensive snaps for this kind of production, and personnel offers a clue as to why.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Offense

Matt Ryan: 93 (100%)

Jake Matthews: 93

Wes Schweitzer: 93

Alex Mack: 93

Kaleb McGary: 93

Calvin Ridley: 87

Christian Blake: 83

Jamon Brown: 74

Russell Gage: 63

Devonta Freeman: 62

Jaeden Graham: 55

Carson Meier: 27

Justin Hardy: 26

Brian Hill: 24

James Carpenter: 19

Keith Smith: 16

Ty Sambrailo: 9

Olamide Zaccheaus: 7

Kenjon Barner: 7


Obviously if your offense is on the field for 93 snaps and you only have 18 points, you have failed on a fundamental level. The Falcons certainly ran plenty of plays, but most of them were unproductive at best.

The snap counts tell part of the story here. With Julio Jones out, Christian Blake was forced into a huge role, while Jaeden Graham took over for Austin Hooper. James Carpenter got hurt and Wes Schweitzer played every single snap, putting together an awful effort against a team he has traditionally struggled against. When you have injury issues on the offensive line, in your receiving corps, and at tight end, your offense is probably going to have trouble, especially if you can’t lean on a quality ground game.

Everything is such a disaster it’s hard to call out any one thing. Blake did incredibly well considering the circumstances, but the Falcons struggled to get receivers open throughout the day, Ryan made poor decisions, Freeman and the ground game got nothing, and the offensive line was beyond awful. The Falcons can move on from Schweitzer easily this offseason and probably Carpenter, but Brown is here for at least one more year, Mack is aging, and both Matthews and McGary have had concerningly awful stretches of play in 2019. Short of guys taking huge steps forward and someone like Matt Gono turning out to be as good as the team has halfheartedly hyped him to be, the offensive line is going to be a key area of focus yet again, which is disappointing.

The offense will have better days this year—especially once Julio and Hooper return—but we need to get Dirk Koetter out of here.

Defense

Kendall Sheffield: 50 (100%)

Desmond Trufant: 50

De’Vondre Campbell: 47

Ricardo Allen: 47

Deion Jones: 45

Damontae Kazee: 42

Isaiah Oliver: 41

Grady Jarrett: 41

Vic Beasley: 35

Tyeler Davison: 29

Adrian Clayborn: 29

Takk McKinley: 25

Allen Bailey: 20

Foye Oluokun: 17

Jack Crawford: 12

Jamal Carter: 10

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 9

Sharrod Neasman: 1


If I were the Saints, I’d be mighty concerned about how the passing game fared against Atlanta. There’s no point in pretending that the Saints would’ve put up 30 if they hadn’t had so many backbreaking drops, but that is in and of itself a problem. Otherwise, Brees threw for just 184 yards, Micahel Thomas had an exceedingly quiet 6 catch, 48 yard performance, and the team’s short passing attack was largely stymied by improved tackling.

The defense, in other words, played pretty well again, even if they were helped by Saints mistakes. Grady Jarrett was the only one consistently getting pressure, but the run defense was solid and the secondary did consistently solid work all day, which should have been more than enough to keep Atlanta in this one. There are plays this team wishes they could have back—Jared Cook’s sideline romp among them—but the legitimate strides from this defense in recent weeks, Tampa Bay notwithstanding, are legitimately encouraging.

Special Teams

Keith Smith: 20

Olamide Zaccheaus: 20

Jermaine Grace: 20

Kemal Ishmael: 19

Foye Oluokun: 19

Brian Hill: 17

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 17

Qadree Ollison: 13

Damontae Kazee: 12

Kenjon Barner: 11

Tyeler Davison: 10

Jamal Carter: 10

Younghoe Koo: 10


On a shaky day for Younghoe Koo, at least he showed he’s a master of onside kicks. Kenjon Barner’s big return, Foye Oluokun’s impactful plays on both of those onside recoveries, and Ryan Allen’s coffin corner punt were all noteworthy plays for a unit that has also been improving in recent weeks.

The only question is whether Koo, who the team apparently does not trust to kick over 50 yards and whiffed on an extra point and field goal early in the game, is going to continue to kick for this Atlanta team. We’ll find out soon enough.