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Falcons snap counts from a preseason win over the Lions

Here’s what the snap counts illuminate about last night’s game.

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Falcons finished their first preseason game with a win, and soon enough they’ll have to make five cuts to the roster. We’ll try to figure out who might be staying and going in the coming days, but first, it might be instructive to take a look at the snap counts and see how the coaching staff divvied up playing time on Friday night.

Let’s do that now.


Desmond Ridder: 43

Drew Dalman: 28

Jalen Mayfield: 28

Colby Gossett: 28

Rick Leonard: 28

Germain Ifedi: 28

Parker Hesse: 22

Geronimo Allison: 20

Tyler Allgeier: 18

Caleb Huntley: 17

Damiere Byrd: 16

Ryan Neuzil: 15

Tyler Vrabel: 15

Tyshaun James: 15

Jonotthan Harrison: 15

Justin Shaffer: 15

Leroy Watson: 15

John Raine: 14

Anthony Firkser: 14

Auden Tate: 14

MyCole Pruitt: 14

Cameron Batson: 13

Jake Matthews: 13

Elijah Wilkinson: 13

Matt Hennessy: 13

Chris Lindstrom: 13

Kaleb McGary: 13

Marcus Mariota: 13

Frank Darby: 12

Feleipe Franks: 12

Qadree Ollison: 12

Kyle Pitts: 10

KhaDarel Hodge: 8

Stanley Berryhill: 8

Jared Bernhardt: 7

Olamide Zaccheaus: 7

Damien Williams: 6

Avery Williams: 5

John FitzPatrick: 4

Tucker Fisk: 3

Keith Smith: 3

Cordarrelle Patterson: 1

Obviously, the team wanted to give Ridder extensive time in this one, as he played easily the most snaps. It was a strong initial effort for the rookie quarterback, who will probably end up playing most of the game again each of the next two weeks.

It was also an extended audition for Parker Hesse and Geronimo Allison, who each received significant work with the second team. Hesse is in a battle for a spot on the tight end depth chart with new signing MyCole Pruitt and rookie John FitzPatrick, and he helped himself with a touchdown grab and hurt himself a bit with a drop. Ditto Allison, one of the many towering receivers contending for reserve roles, and a player who had a nice catch and an ugly missed opportunity as well. We’ll see what the team thinks of their performances, but if they roll out with the second team again next week, we’ll have a pretty good clue of where they are on the depth chart.

It’s also interesting that KhaDarel Hodge ran with the starters. Yes, Bryan Edwards was out, but that would seem to bode well for his chances of making the roster, especially because his special teams value was already going to give him a leg up. If he’s out there with the starters next week again I think it’s safe to pencil him in as the fourth receiver.

There was a clear pecking order on the line, as well. Matt Hennessy and Drew Dalman are locked into a battle for the center job and Dalman will presumably get first team reps next week, but otherwise it seems clear the starting line heading into Week 1 is lining up to be Jake Matthews, Elijah Wilkinson, Chris Lindstrom, and Kaleb McGary. Rick Leonard is pushing hard to be the team’s swing tackle, Jalen Mayfield is hoping to hold on as a backup guard for the moment, and Germain Ifedi is lining up to be McGary’s backup. That wouldn’t seem to leave any room for anyone else on the roster, making Colby Gossett’s presence with the second team more relevant to his practice squad chances than the 53 man.

Again, though, one week. We’ll see how things shake out soon enough.


Nate Landman: 69

Dee Alford: 46

Jalen Dalton: 38

Rashad Smith: 36

Nick Thurman: 35

Jordan Brailford: 34

Teez Tabor: 34

Dorian Etheridge: 33

Dean Marlowe: 32

Matt Hankins: 32

Henry Black: 31

DeAngelo Malone: 31

Quinton Bell: 30

Timothy Horne: 29

Tre Webb: 29

Kuony Deng: 28

Abdullah Anderson: 28

Lafayette Pitts: 23

Cornell Armstrong: 22

Darren Hall: 22

Arnold Ebiketie: 21

Corey Ballentine: 21

Erik Harris: 20

Derrick Tangelo: 18

Mike Ford: 17

Darrion Daniels: 16

Ta’Quon Graham: 13

Richie Grant: 12

Rashaad Evans: 10

Mykal Walker: 10

Casey Hayward: 10

A.J. Terrell: 10

Grady Jarrett: 8

Lorenzo Carter: 7

Ade Ogundeji: 7

Anthony Rush: 7

The starters received very limited run, so no sweeping conclusions here about their effectiveness today. Rush is in line for a major role and rolled out with Grady Jarrett, while despite a rocky game, Ford is clearly pushing hard for a roster spot because he too started in this one in place of Isaiah Oliver. Ogundeji also appears to have an early leg up on the starting job opposite Lorenzo Carter, which makes sense given the coaching staff’s at-times glowing praise for him in 2021.

The most interesting note for the backups here that the team clearly wanted a long look at Landman, who handily led all Falcons defenders in snaps. That may have partially out of necessity with the inside linebacker corps thin due to injury, but obviously the team likes what the rookie brings to the table. He was effective on special teams in camp and had a pretty good effort last night, batting down a pass and managing several tackles, so that should be viewed as a good sign for his chances of making at the practice squad.

Ditto Dee Alford, who had a good night in the midst of an otherwise struggling secondary, managing Atlanta’s lone interception and flashing solid coverage chops. The tail end of the cornerback depth chart is very unsettled at the moment, and Alford did more than anyone last night to make his case for a spot.

Finally, Jalen Dalton showed well in his snaps (the third-highest of the night for the Falcons), and with injury and attrition piling up on the defensive line, that’s a big deal.

Special Teams

Tyler Allgeier: 13

John Raine: 12

Jordan Brailford: 11

Henry Black: 11

Quinton Bell: 11

Bradley Pinion: 10

Liam McCullough: 10

Frank Darby: 9

DeAngelo Malone: 9

Erik Harris: 9

Younghoe Koo: 8

Avery Williams: 8

Kuony Deng: 8

Cornell Armstrong: 8

Arnold Ebiketie: 8

Teez Tabor: 7

Dean Marlowe: 7

Tucker Fisk: 6

Feleipe Franks: 6

Drew Dalman: 6

MyCole Pruitt: 6

Parker Hesse: 5

Ryan Neuzil: 5

Tyler Vrabel: 5

Nate Landman: 5

Jalen Dalton: 5

Dee Alford: 4

Dorian Etheridge: 4

Tyshaun James: 4

Colby Gossett: 3

Matt Hankins: 3

Timothy Horne: 3

Tre Webb: 3

Keith Smith: 3

Anthony Firkser: 3

Seth Vernon: 3

Cameron Batson: 3

Rick Leonard: 3

Mike Ford: 3

Jonotthan Harrison: 3

Justin Shaffer: 3

Leroy Watson: 3

KhaDarel Hodge: 2

Ta’Quon Graham: 2

Stanley Berryhill: 2

Jared Benhardt: 2

Jalen Mayfield: 2

Germain Ifedi: 2

Jake Matthews: 1

Elijah Wilkinson: 1

Chris Lindstrom: 1

Kaleb McGary: 1

Olamide Zaccheaus: 1

Derrick Tangelo: 1

Richie Grant: 1

Rashaan Evans: 1

Mykal Walker: 1

Casey Hayward: 1

A.J. Terrell: 1

Lorenzo Carter: 1

The specialist roles appear to be filled at this point, so the intrigue is chiefly around who will be latching on to a roster spot on the back of their ability to chip in for Marquice Williams and company. I just don’t think you can make any major conclusions about those spots just yet.

One note, though: It’s a good sign for Allgeier that he’s getting significant run on special teams and blocking well on offense, as those are the kinds of things that will ensure he’s active on gameday even if he winds up behind two or three other backs on the depth chart when the season kicks off.