clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Falcons snap counts from a home loss to the Steelers

Atlanta’s latest loss sees them settled into snap counts that are unlikely to hold up after the bye.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Falcons lost again. Atlanta has spent the past several weeks trying to get more out of what they have with diminishing results owing to a combination of poor performance and injuries.

Chances are that we’ll see some lineup changes, even if they’re just subtle ones, after the bye. It’s evident to everyone inside and outside the building that the status quo is leading to losses piling up, owing to a combination of a defense that can’t get off the field, an offense that can’t capitalize on its chances, and the inherent limitations of one of the league’s least expensive rosters. There are no miracle changes to be had, but I’m not sure the Falcons can keep things exactly the same and hope for different results.

Here are the snap counts for the loss to the Steelers.


Marcus Mariota: 54

Jake Matthews: 54

Colby Gossett: 54

Drew Dalman: 54

Chris Lindstrom: 54

Kaleb McGary: 54

Drake London: 47

Olamide Zaccheaus: 47

Parker Hesse: 34

Tyler Allgeier: 28

MyCole Pruitt: 27

Cordarrelle Patterson: 25

Damiere Byrd: 19

Keith Smith: 15

Anthony Firkser: 14

KhaDarel Hodge: 6

Caleb Huntley: 5

Feleipe Franks: 3

Honestly, there were no real surprises here. The pecking order in every position group is fairly clear by now, with Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson atop the running back depth chart and sharing snaps fairly evenly, Parker Hesse and MyCole Pruitt operating as the top two tight ends, and Drake London and Olamide Zaccheaus dominating wide receiver snaps with Damiere Byrd and KhaDarel Hodge running behind them. Colby Gossett likely will be supplanted soon enough, but with injuries piling up at left guard, he’s been the guy and has been solid enough.

The big question is whether there will be a shakeup at any of these spots coming out of the bye week. Mariota has played every snap at quarterback thus far in 2022, but the tenor of Arthur Smith’s post-game remarks suggested that might change. Getting Huntley, second-year receiver Frank Darby, and other young players even a little more involved given that they might have real 2023—and in the case of Huntley, that move might further bolster the rushing attack in 2022—feels like a must. Aside from quarterback, though, you likely won’t see any massive changes.


Richie Grant: 65

Jaylinn Hawkins: 65

Darren Hall: 65

A.J. Terrell: 65

Rashaan Evans: 65

Mykal Walker: 48

Lorenzo Carter: 48

Grady Jarrett: 46

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 39

Abdullah Anderson: 39

Timothy Horne: 29

Troy Andersen: 27

DeAngelo Malone: 25

Matt Dickerson: 23

Isaiah Oliver: 21

Jaleel Johnson: 19

Quinton Bell: 18

Dee Alford: 8

The “they’ve settled into a routine” bit above also applies to the defense. Injury is forcing the Falcons to mix things up a bit along the defensive line and ultimately at linebacker, especially with Troy Andersen exiting the game, but otherwise they’ve settled on who they want to play and the extent to which the coaching staff wants to play them.

The limitations with this group are obvious. The Falcons badly need other high-end options besides Grady Jarrett on the defensive line, and the loss of Ta’Quon Graham has them relying on players who are fine reserves and rotational guys, but not impactful players as full-time players. Grant and Hawkins are young starters with bright futures, but both are making real mistakes right now, and Grant’s tackling has been rough. Hall is a terrific reserve and spot starter but has scuffled quite a bit as a full-time starter, and Evans is a fine player who has had genuine misadventures in coverage. Everywhere you look, there’s a small handful of really good players surrounded by ones with flaws who are having to play significant roles, and the net result has been a defense that struggles to get off the field.

As is the case with the offense, getting a little more time for young, promising players like Malone, Alford, and Andersen (if he’s healthy) feels like a must over the final four games. There likely is no one big change the Falcons can make on this side of the ball to fix things, however, though just getting Arnold Ebiketie back will help.

Special Teams

Nick Kwiatkoski: 21

Mike Ford: 21

Erik Harris: 21

Avery Williams: 18

Troy Andersen: 16

KhaDarel Hodge: 16

Parker Hesse: 13

DeAngelo Malone: 12

Bradley Pinion: 12

Richie Grant: 10

MyCole Pruitt: 10

Feleipe Franks: 8

Cornell Armstrong: 7

Liam McCullough: 7

Quinton Bell: 6

Cordarrelle Patterson: 6

A similar situation on special teams, but things are actually working over here.

The biggest note I’d put forward here is the refusal to kick to Patterson after his big return a couple weeks ago, as Washington and Pittsburgh went way out of their way to avoid letting him return it. In the past two weeks, he has just one kick return for nine yards, and chances are teams are going to continue to prioritize that given the truly game-breaking ability the future Hall of Famer brings to the table.