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Falcons snap counts from a loss to the Rams

Atlanta divvies it up at running back and more notes from Sunday.

Rams, Falcons, NFL

The Falcons surprised us in more than one way Sunday, first by getting steamrolled after a promising initial drive fizzled out, and then by finding their way back into the game with a combination of luck and skill. As you’d expect from a fairly wild game, there were a few surprises in the snap counts, as well.

Let’s take a closer look. Hat tip to Pro Football Reference for these.


Marcus Mariota: 61

Jake Matthews: 61

Elijah Wilkinson: 61

Drew Dalman: 61

Chris Lindstrom: 61

Kaleb McGary: 61

Kyle Pitts: 57

Drake London: 50

Parker Hesse: 40

Cordarrelle Patterson: 36

Olamide Zaccheaus: 26

Tyler Allgeier: 19

Bryan Edwards: 16

Avery Williams: 15

Keith Smith: 15

Anthony Firkser: 13

KhaDarel Hodge: 12

Caleb Huntley: 3

Jared Bernhardt: 2

Colby Gossett: 1

For all intents and purposes, Olamide Zaccheaus is the #2 wide receiver. He’s drawing a lot of snaps and is producing, with the second-most catches (6) and third-most receiving yardage (70) on the roster today. I don’t know if it’s matchup-based or there just isn’t a strong rapport between Marcus Mariota and Bryan Edwards, but the latter has been a non-factor, playing about half as much as OZ and managing just one catch for two yards. That will likely change—Edwards was pretty good with the Raiders, and he’s received two red zone targets from Mariota in two games—but for now it’s the London and Zaccheaus show. Hodge, who is third on the team in catches and second in yardage despite limited playing time, probably deserves a bit of a longer look going forward.

Part of that is because the Falcons are playing with two tight ends a lot. Pitts is drawing most of the offensive snaps and is being asked to block a lot, but like Edwards, his production has been limited thus far. That’s a problem for an offense in need of explosive playmaking like Pitts can provide, however, and Pitts and Hesse combined for just three catches and 24 yards on Sunday. If the Falcons are going to roll the duo out as often as they are, hopefully we’re going to see a heavy (and successful) emphasis on the run where they can pitch in and/or Pitts getting more targets. Otherwise, I’d like to see more work for Edwards and Hodge, as that duo plus London and Pitts gives the Falcons a lot of size and after the catch ability on the field at once. Whether it’s Mariota not finding Pitts, the coaching staff not getting him the opportunities, or some combination of the two, Atlanta’s best served with the ball in his hands more often, even if it’s just a little more often.

The Falcons did scale back Cordarrelle Patterson’s touches on Sunday, which was a smart idea after a career-high workload in Week 1. Tyler Allgeier was active as expected and solid, with the same number of attempts as Patterson on fewer touches. With Damien Williams expected to be out for a bit, we’ll see a lot of Patterson and Allgeier running the ball, with Avery Williams set to mix in as a pass catching option.

The offensive line was the same as a week ago and will likely stay that way for a while, though the snap issues between Dalman and Mariota are something to monitor.


Richie Grant: 63

Mykal Walker: 63

Rashaan Evans: 54

A.J. Terrell: 53

Lorenzo Carter: 52

Grady Jarrett: 49

Casey Hayward: 46

Ta’Quon Graham: 38

Jaylinn Hawkins: 36

Arnold Ebiketie: 33

Erik Harris: 30

Adedtokunbo Ogundeji: 29

Dean Marlowe: 27

Darren Hall: 25

Timothy Horne: 19

Mike Ford: 17

Anthony Rush: 13

DeAngelo Malone: 12

Dee Alford: 12

Abdullah Anderson: 11

Troy Andersen: 9

Avery Williams: 1

Keith Smith: 1

KhaDarel Hodge: 1

We have to start with Hawkins. One of the more aggressive defenders on the field in Week 1 and a player who has a lot of promise, Hawkins missed some tackles and chances in this one, and the Falcons parked him for most of the second half in favor of Dean Marlowe. That might have been a one week shift with Pees giving time to a veteran to give a struggling young player a break, but the Falcons did a lot of rotating in this one and chances are good we’re going to see Marlowe again at some point. We’re two weeks into the season and it certainly appears like Hawkins is going to be looking over his shoulder a bit.

Atlanta also gave Troy Andersen some work, albeit limited work, with Rashaan Evans sitting. Darren Hall got significant snaps in relief of A.J. Terrell, who scuffled somewhat this game himself, though Hall was up-and-down outside of his huge fumble recovery. Timothy Horne actually out-snapped Anthony Rush, which was not something I expected to see happen this early in the year—okay, at all—and Ebiketie out-snapped Ogundeji. Heck, Erik Harris got in the game quite a bit and wound up manning the nickel for stretches after we literally only saw him for one play against the Saints. It was a week where our Week 1 expectations for the defense were challenged over and over again, and the end result of all that tinkering was an uneven effort.

Some of these things aren’t going to continue—Hall likely won’t spell Terrell all that often, for example—but Horne appears to be carving out a larger role, Marlowe and Erik Harris are clearly going to see the field, and Ebiketie drawing significant snaps feels like it’ll soon be the norm. We’ll need more games to see what’s real and what’s just a one-week shift at this point, but don’t expect Dean Pees to stop tinkering until he finds something he likes.

Richie Grant playing 100% alongside Mykal Walker after getting limited work last year, though? That’s welcome. It’s clear that even while Pees makes changes to the lineup, Grant and Walker will be two of his most essential defenders.

Special Teams

Erik Harris: 19

Mike Ford: 19

Troy Andersen: 19

Avery Williams: 19

Dean Marlowe: 18

Keith Smith: 14

KhaDarel Hodge: 13

DeAngelo Malone: 12

Parker Hesse: 11

Nate Landman: 11

Bradley Pinion: 10

Cordarrelle Patterson: 7

Tyler Allgeier: 7

Richie Grant: 6

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 6

Darren Hall: 6

Ta’Quon Graham: 5

Timothy Horne: 5

Abdullah Anderson: 5

Liam McCullough: 5

Elijah Wilkinson: 4

Kaleb McGary: 4

Jake Matthews: 4

Chris Lindstrom: 4

Colby Gossett: 4

Matt Hennessy: 4

Germain Ifedi: 4

Younghoe Koo: 4

Jaylinn Hawkins: 2

Lorenzo Carter: 1

Olamide Zaccheaus: 1

No huge surprises here. Troy Andersen is going to spend at least the early portions of the 2022 season making his biggest impact on special teams, like he did in this one when he blocked a punt. Fellow linebacker Nate Landman is essentially active on gamedays for his special teams contributions at the moment, as well, and the team continues to lean heavily on players like Marlowe, Harris, Hodge, and Ford who were expected to be key pieces early on. Aside from Younghoe Koo’s rare missed field goal, this ended up being a strong day for special teams.

Also, Carter being in on just one snap and getting the opportunity to return the franchise’s first blocked punt for a touchdown in decades is the kind of fortune and taking advantage of the moment that we really need to see more of in Atlanta.