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Falcons snap counts from a home win over the Lions

The Falcons put together a season-low number of snaps on offense.

Detroit Lions v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

It’s snap count time! Let’s take a closer look at how the Falcons rolled out their personnel against the Lions and what interesting items we can tease out of that.

Offense

Matt Ryan: 46

Jake Matthews: 46

Jalen Mayfield: 46

Matt Hennessy: 46

Chris Lindstrom: 46

Kaleb McGary: 46

Olamide Zaccheaus: 40

Russell Gage: 40

Kyle Pitts: 38

Mike Davis: 26

Cordarrelle Patterson: 25

Hayden Hurst: 22

Keith Smith: 12

Christian Blake: 12

Lee Smith: 11

Marvin Hall: 5

Qadree Ollison: 1


The Falcons had a season-low number of snaps in this game and only eight drives, with one of those constituting a single kneel down to end the game. They weren’t exactly lights out on offense over those drives, but they did enough to get the win, and the passing game was encouragingly crisp.

Arthur Smith and company have their snaps down to a science on this side of the ball, with a fairly even split between Davis and Patterson, Hurst serving as the clear #2 tight end now that he’s healthy, and Gage, Tajae Sharpe (when he’s healthy), and Zaccheaus serving as the three top receivers. It’s a sign that the Falcons know what they have and will be making very informed decisions on impending free agents like Gage, Zaccheaus and Patterson, and I’d expect at least an effort to re-sign all three. Hurst

Frank Darby is a notable absence from this list of snap counts, with Blake and Hall working ahead of him in this one. It seems likely that we simply won’t see Darby with any kind of real role on offense until 2022, if then.

Defense

A.J. Terrell: 67

Duron Harmon: 67

Jaylinn Hawkins: 67

Foye Oluokun: 67

Fabian Moreau: 67

Deion Jones: 60

Grady Jarrett: 55

Steven Means: 47

Dante Fowler: 38

Richie Grant: 34

Ta’Quon Graham: 32

Jonathan Bullard: 27

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 23

Anthony Rush: 21

Mike Pennel: 17

Brandon Copeland: 14

James Vaughters: 11

Mykal Walker: 10

Shawn Williams: 8

Darren Hall: 4

Cordarrelle Patterson: 1


While the slimmed-down offensive snap counts aren’t all that interesting at this stage of the season, Dean Pees is much more willing to switch things up, which in turns leads to worthwhile notes.

We’ll start with Darren Hall. I’ve made no secret of my fondness for Hall, who I think is going to be a capable starter over the long haul, but he was shaky early in this one and appeared to get the hook as a result. Richie Grant wound up playing a lot and had a good day, but I’d expect to see both Hall and Grant rolling against the Bills. The more Grant we see, the better, given how integral he could and hopefully will become to this defense.

Ogundeji played his lowest snap percentage since Week 4, with Copeland and Vaughters also seeing reduced snap counts. I wouldn’t view that as any sign of Ogundeji falling out of favor with the coaching staff—they’ve talked him up all year and really need him to be a valuable rotational piece at minimum—but somebody had to lose snaps with Fowler ramping up snaps and Means still dominating them.

Hawkins was the obvious replacement for Erik Harris and served in that role, mostly having a strong day playing a full complement of snaps as a starting safety. One of the more interesting subplots of the upcoming offseason for the Falcons is whether Hawkins is viewed as a starter for Atlanta or not, as being able to roll him out with confidence at the start of the season would remove one major need for a team with a lot of them.

Also, Patterson snap! I missed it in real time so I’m going to have to go back and look for it.

Special Teams

Richie Grant: 19

Shawn Williams: 17

Avery Williams: 17

Mykal Walker: 15

Keith Smith: 15

Qadree Ollison: 13

Daren Bates: 13

Frank Darby: 11

James Vaughters: 9

Kendall Sheffield: 9

Younghoe Koo: 9

Darren Hall: 8

Steven Means: 7

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 7

Thomas Morstead: 6

Josh Harris: 6

Cordarrelle Patterson: 5

A.J. Terrell: 4

Ta’Quon Graham: 4

Jonathan Bullard: 4

Anthony Rush: 4

Kaleb McGary: 4

Jalen Mayfield: 4

Jake Matthews: 4

Chris Lindstrom: 4

Lee Smith: 4

Jason Spriggs: 4

Drew Dalman: 4

Colby Gossett: 4

Christian Blake: 3

Duron Harmon: 2

Jaylinn Hawkins: 2


Cordarrelle Patterson was used on kickoffs again after a long layoff, which was nice to see. Avery Williams continues to handle punt returns and continues to look good there, but Arthur Smith said after the game they’ll evaluate going forward whether Patterson will keep that role. Either way, the Falcons finally have capable returners.

More than that, they have capable special teams. I’ve thought the job Marquice Williams and company have done has flown under the radar this year with all the arguments over the offense and defense, but this team has found a capable core led by Richie Grant and have done a nice job stifling returns since the back-to-back snafus with the Jets and Washington Football Team.

It helps, too, when your specialists are excellent. Younghoe Koo and Thomas Morstead have done stellar work this season, and I have to think the Falcons will make a big push to bring both back. No matter how much you upgrade your roster, you don’t want to rely on unreliable kickers and punters, after all.