clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Falcons snap counts and notes from the Week 4 loss to the Packers

There’s just not much to say about the snaps this week, as they were more or less cemented into place by injury.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers Appleton Post-Crescent-USA TODAY NETWORK

This is not the week where we uncover hidden truths about the Falcons from the snap counts, given that you can explain a lot of players getting the snaps they did because injury happened. That said, let’s dive in.

Offense

Matt Ryan: 70

Jake Matthews: 70

Alex Mack: 70

Chris Lindstrom: 70

Kaleb McGary: 70

Olamide Zaccheaus: 53

Russell Gage: 47

Hayden Hurst: 45

Calvin Ridley: 45

Todd Gurley: 38

James Carpenter: 37

Luke Stocker: 33

Matt Hennessy: 33

Christian Blake: 19

Keith Smith: 16

Brian Hill: 16

Ito Smith: 16

Julio Jones: 15

Matt Gono: 1


Obviously, while all three of the team’s top receivers played, none of them were 100%. I see no other explanation for Ridley’s goose egg, even if Matt Ryan overlooked and overthrew him multiple times last night, and Russell Gage’s second half disappearance and Julio Jones’ exit with an aggravation of his hamstring injury confirmed that. The primary beneficiary of that injury picture with Olamide Zaccheaus, who showed he can be a very reliable option if he needs to be. That’s one of the few pluses to take away from last night.

We’re probably going to see James Carpenter’s time as a starter come to a close soon after a middling night (even if Matt Hennessy wasn’t significantly better), because this is a team that at least quietly needs to start thinking about the future. I’d say something similar for Todd Gurley, but he’s running hard and the team’s sole long-term options under contract right now are Ito Smith (just for 2021) and Qadree Ollison (who is in mothballs). There’s really no other good place to look for drastic changes anyways, so the Falcons are just going to have to hope the offense gets better and healthier.

We can’t talk too much about Dirk Koetter in a snap count article but suffice to say the sooner the Falcons are done with him as the offensive coordinator, the better things will look here.

Defense

Isaiah Oliver: 63

Kendall Sheffield: 63

Deion Jones: 63

Foye Oluokun: 61

Grady Jarrett: 49

Dante Fowler Jr.: 45

Sharrod Neasman: 42

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 39

Mykal Walker: 32

Jamal Carter: 31

Tyeler Davison: 30

John Cominsky: 29

Charles Harris: 27

Jaylinn Hawkins: 26

Steven Means: 26

Allen Bailey: 23

Damontae Kazee: 21

Marlon Davidson: 15

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 8


Defensively, the story of the night was once again unavoidably injury and ineffectiveness.

Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal were already out when poor Damontae Kazee went down with what sure looks like a season-ending injury, followed by Jaylinn Hawkins existing with a possible concussion. That meant Sharrod Neasman and Jamal Carter were the team’s full-time starting safeties, and that in turn meant the Packers blistered Atlanta primarily through passes to tight ends and running backs. In total, 233 of Rodgers’ 327 yards came on passes to Robert Tonyan, Aaron Jones, and Jamaal Williams, and you can blame coverage confusion and lackluster play by pretty much everyone who dropped into coverage at some point last night.

Kendall Sheffield and Isaiah Oliver started outside and played pretty well, all things considered, though Oliver was part of the confusion that allowed Jones to score his first touchdown. Dan Quinn said after the game that Sheffield will stay outside when A.J. Terrell returns, setting Oliver up to move into the slot until Darqueze Dennard comes back, at which point he’ll presumably be benched. We’ll hope that Terrell and Sheffield can provide this defense a boost against Carolina, but it may not matter if Atlanta can’t do anything about tight ends and backs, and they were unable to against the Packers.

The lack of a pass rush once again didn’t help. Rodgers was not significantly pressured much last night, with Charles Harris and Grady Jarrett doing almost all of the heavy lifting on first glance. Harris is turning out to be a solid addition for this football team, but Dante Fowler Jr. has struggled to make an impact, this team badly misses Takk McKinley, and Davidson is still being eased into this lineup. That leaves way too many solid run defenders on a line that needs to get after the quarterback, and a number of impressive run stuffs can’t obscure the fact that Aaron Jones still had a solid day on the ground.

Injuries are keeping this unit from being what it could be, but unfortunately there’s just not a lot of evidence that this unit would be special even at full health.

Special Teams

LaRoy Reynolds: 15

Keith Smith: 15

Jaeden Graham: 14

Christian Blake: 13

Keith Smith: 12

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 12

Delrick Abrams: 12

Sharrod Neasman: 11

Mykal Walker: 11


Just not much to note here. Tyler Ervin had one nice 34 yard return against Atlanta, which has struggled a bit more when it comes to handling returns in 2020, and Elliott Fry did not endear himself to fans by missing an extra point but was perfectly fine otherwise. A relatively unobjectionable night for special teams is all I have the energy to say.