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Falcons snap counts from the loss to the Commanders

Atlanta leaned heavily on Olamide Zaccheaus, while on defense they had a new-look defensive line rotation.

Atlanta Falcons v Washington Commanders Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Falcons didn’t lose to the Washington Commanders because of any one thing. What was clear is that the injuries cropping up in recent weeks had an impact.

Without Ta’Quon Graham, the Falcons went from a semi-admirable slowdown of the Bears to getting beat up on the ground against the Commanders. Without Kyle Pitts, a typically moribund passing game was just a tick less productive until a huge play late gave the Falcons a fighting chance. Without Arnold Ebiketie, who exited the game after just nine snaps, the Falcons pass rush was slowed. And so on.

Atlanta still kept it close despite all that, but it’s worth looking at the snap counts to see how the team’s plans changed and who was asked to step up.


Marcus Mariota: 57

Jake Matthews: 57

Colby Gossett: 57

Drew Dalman: 57

Chris Lindstrom: 57

Kaleb McGary: 57

Drake London: 49

Olamide Zaccheaus: 42

Parker Hesse: 35

Cordarrelle Patterson: 33

MyCole Pruitt: 32

Tyler Allgeier: 22

Damiere Byrd: 22

Anthony Firkser: 22

Keith Smith: 9

KhaDarel Hodge: 8

Avery Williams: 7

Caleb Huntley: 3

Germain Ifedi: 1

This was the week where Cordarrelle Patterson finally overtook Allgeier in a real way for snaps. It translated to three more touches—the two split carries evenly, but Patterson was targeted five times in the passing game finally and came up with three catches for 19 yards—and it’s probably going to be the norm going forward with just five games and Patterson reasonably fresh. Allgeier will continue to get plenty of work with Huntley coming in for a handful of snaps to rip off one or two huge runs, which is a system that works for this team.

The state of the pass catching corps is a little grim at the moment. The team’s third and fourth receivers, Byrd and Hodge, received exactly zero targets on 30 combined snaps, while the team’s three tight ends combined for six targets and four grabs that went for a combined 36 yards, though one was a touchdown. Atlanta’s second-most targeted players was Cordarrelle Patterson, with Olamide Zaccheaus dominating target share and production on Sunday. There will be better days ahead for London and I’m hopeful Patterson’s role will continue to grow, but there aren’t a lot of targets to go around and every option here is hit-or-miss weekly aside from OZ.

Gossett, meanwhile, bounced back a bit in an emergency start. With Jalen Mayfield needing to be activated soon, Elijah Wilkinson’s return window opening shortly, and Chuma Edoga hopefully on his way back, this may be the last time we see Gossett this year. Just like in 2021, he did an admirable (if uneven) job stepping in and starting when called upon, and I’d be fine with him sticking around in 2023 as a depth option at guard.


Richie Grant: 62

Jaylinn Hawkins: 62

Darren Hall: 62

A.J. Terrell: 62

Rashaan Evans: 62

Lorenzo Carter: 53

Grady Jarrett: 47

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 44

Mykal Walker: 42

Abdullah Anderson: 40

Troy Andersen: 30

Timothy Horne: 29

Isaiah Oliver: 19

DeAngelo Malone: 18

Jaleel Johnson: 18

Matt Dickerson: 15

Arnold Ebiketie: 9

Dee Alford: 8

With Arnold Ebiketie out early owing to injury and Ta’Quon Graham landing on injured reserve, the snap counts looked a lot different up front this week.

Along the line, the biggest uptick in playing time came for Anderson, who has largely been a solid piece all season. You saw the loss of Graham having an impact on Sunday, but Anderson held up fairly well and will continue to effectively start the rest of the way, in all likelihood. Horne also saw a jump in playing time, with Johnson and Dickerson rounding out the rotation. It is not a great group, but I do trust Anderson and Horne to play a lot of snaps without falling apart, at the very least.

With Ebiketie out, Ogundeji and Malone saw more snaps. Atlanta’s pass rush was once again very hit or miss on Sunday, and while that’s not all because Ebiketie wasn’t in the game, it certainly was a major factor for a team that missed their talented rookie a lot. The hope is that he’ll be back next Sunday to terrorize Kenny Pickett.

It’s also worth noting that the split between Walker and Andersen is growing more pronounced, with Walker playing fewer snaps (and having a greater impact, at last this week) with Andersen picking up more. I’d anticipate that trend will also continue over the final five games.

Otherwise, you’ve seen this all play out before. Darren Hall is continuing to get an extended audition, and if Casey Hayward doesn’t return in 2022, he’ll likely stick as the starter the rest of the way despite some lapses in coverage and tackling woes along the way.

Special Teams

Nick Kwiatkoski: 20

Erik Harris: 20

Mike Ford: 20

Avery Williams: 17

Troy Andersen: 16

KhaDarel Hodge: 15

DeAngelo Malone: 12

Parker Hesse: 12

Keith Smith: 12

Richie Grant: 11

Bradley Pinion: 11

MyCole Pruitt: 9

Feleipe Franks: 9

Isaiah Oliver: 8

Liam McCullough: 7

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 6

Dee Alford: 6

Cordarrelle Patterson: 5

Abdullah Anderson: 4

Timothy Horne: 4

Matt Dickerson: 4

Kaleb McGary: 4

Jake Matthews: 4

Chris Lindstrom: 4

Colby Gossett: 4

Germain Ifedi: 4

Ryan Neuzil: 4

Younghoe Koo: 4

Darren Hall: 2

Grady Jarrett: 2

Tyler Allgeier: 2

Jaylinn Hawkins: 1

Lorenzo Carter: 1

It’s fair to idly wonder how many of the team’s most consistent special teams performers will be back a year from now, given that Ford, Kwiatkoski, Harris, and Hodge are all on one-year deals. There’s no obvious in-house replacement for Harris at safety, but Nate Landman and Dorian Etheridge might plug in for Kwiatkoski and Frank Darby seems like a logical in-house replacement for Hodge. I’d like to see the team bring back at least Ford, though.

Idle thoughts, because as you’ll note, no major shakeups to special teams this week.