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Falcons snap counts from a deflating loss to the 49ers

All the remaining air has been let out of the balloon.

Atlanta Falcons v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Falcons needed a superlative effort to beat the 49ers and didn’t come close to getting one. Can the snap counts help to tell us why?

No, not really. We’ll still dive into them because there are worthwhile notes, but the Falcons did not lose because they let Feleipe Franks play a single snap. I think, anyways.

Offense

Jalen Mayfield: 60

Kaleb McGary: 60

Matt Ryan: 59

Jake Matthews: 59

Matt Hennessy: 59

Chris Lindstrom: 59

Kyle Pitts: 49

Russell Gage: 48

Olamide Zaccheaus: 37

Cordarrelle Patterson: 37

Tajae Sharpe: 33

Mike Davis: 27

Hayden Hurst: 25

Keith Smith: 17

Lee Smith: 13

Christian Blake: 7

Colby Gossett: 4

Qadree Ollison: 3

Frank Darby: 1

Jason Spriggs: 1

Drew Dalman: 1

Feleipe Franks: 1


The Falcons rolled with three receivers more frequently than they have in weeks in an effort to gin up a passing game, and Cordarrelle Patterson presumably out-snapped Mike Davis as part of that effort. The ground game went absolutely nowhere, with Patterson having one of his least productive games of the season and Davis getting very little run, and the offense squandered numerous scoring opportunities.

I’m not sure how much the snap counts can tell us aside from “this team was trying to pass the ball,” though. The line was ineffective to the point of parody and this team was grindingly, desperately lousy as a result, with 119 of Matt Ryan’s 236 passing yards coming on just three (admittedly fun) big plays. There are no major personnel changes happening here on a week-to-week basis, with the team’s fortunes seeming to depend on the opponent and the vagaries of the offensive line. There’s not likely to be a big, surprise game for this team the rest of the way, as they are what they and what they are is somewhat limited.

Defense

A.J. Terrell: 57

Duron Harmon: 57

Fabian Moreau: 57

Deion Jones: 57

Foye Oluokun: 57

Jaylinn Hawkins: 51

Grady Jarrett: 41

Steven Means: 39

Ta’Quon Graham: 33

Mike Pennel: 26

Anthony Rush: 23

Brandon Copeland: 15

Tyeler Davison: 14

Darren Hall: 13

Dante Fowler: 13

James Vaughters: 12

Shawn Williams: 10

Richie Grant: 9

Mykal Walker: 8


The results were bad and the playing time was a little bewildering. Richie Grant receiving barely any snaps and being out-snapped by not just Darren Hall but Shawn Williams is a bit confusing. Dante Fowler being active but only being able to play 13 snaps clearly impacted the pass rush—he had one of the few pressures I can recall—and the team prioritizing their beefier lads up front did not lead to much success against the run. Part of that was due to some abysmal tackling by the linebackers, led by Deion Jones, but the Falcons did not appear to have a great plan or great personnel to stop anything the 49ers were doing.

Either way, it appears Tyeler Davison is continuing to fall out of the rotation, as he was out-snapped handily a week after being inactive. I’m fine with this team taking a longer look at other players they may prioritize having on this defense in 2022, and I hope they’ll take a similar tack with the likes of Grant and Walker and give them extended playing time over the final three games. There’s plenty to be gained in seeing what you have for next year, and not much to be gained by struggling defensively with veterans who are known quantities.

Special Teams

Mykal Walker: 21

Shawn Williams: 19

Avery Williams: 19

Keith Smith: 16

Frank Darby: 16

Richie Grant: 15

Qadree Ollison: 14

Brandon Copeland: 13

Olamide Zaccheaus: 11

James Vaughters: 10

Dorian Etheridge: 10

Steven Means: 9

Darren Hall: 8

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 7

Younghoe Koo: 7

Christian Blake: 6

A.J. Terrell: 5

Ta’Quon Graham: 5

Anthony Rush: 5

Josh Harris: 5

Kendall Sheffield: 5

Thomas Morstead: 5

Mike Pennel: 4

Kaleb McGary: 3

Jalen Mayfield: 3

Jake Matthews: 3

Chris Lindstrom: 3

Colby Gossett: 3

Jason Spriggs: 3

Drew Dalman: 3

Duron Harmon: 2

Jaylinn Hawkins: 2

Tyeler Davison: 1


This was a great day for Falcons special teams. Richie Grant and Qadree Ollison put the Falcons in an amazing position on the very first play of the game, Thomas Morstead routinely pinned San Francisco deep, and Younghoe Koo was typically reliable on his field goal tries. Had the offense and defense played mistake-free, high-impact football of that caliber, they might have won. Alas.