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Falcons snap counts from a win over the Cardinals

Here are a few interesting notes from the playing time on Sunday.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons earned a rare win against the Cardinals, their first since November, and as you’d expect we have some notes from Sunday’s snap counts.

Let’s talk starting roles, snaps, and more from the game.


Desmond Ridder: 62

Jake Matthews: 62

Matt Hennessy: 62

Drew Dalman: 62

Chris Lindstrom: 62

Kaleb McGary: 62

Drake London: 48

MyCole Pruitt: 40

Olamide Zaccheaus: 38

Parker Hesse: 36

Tyler Allgeier: 34

Cordarrelle Patterson: 31

Damiere Byrd: 19

Keith Smith: 12

Frank Darby: 11

Avery Williams: 10

Anthony Firkser: 9

The Pruitt Protocol is complete. The veteran tight end has gone from mid-summer addition to the team’s leading receiver on a Sunday, and he out-snapped every receiving option not named Drake London. He has played well and is being rewarded for it, which is nice to see.

Otherwise, the big note here is Hennessy starting in place of an injured Elijah Wilkinson. If the team thinks Hennessy can play guard and center credibly he’ll likely be assured a reserve role next year, and he showed pretty well as a run blocker on Sunday. He did struggle in pass protection—he allowed a sack and a hurry on the day, and you could see the Cardinals having some success pushing past him—but it was a solid fill-in performance. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out next year with the team likely to add talent, with Wilkinson and Colby Gossett hitting free agency, and Hennessy, Mayfield, Drew Dalman, Justin Shaffer, and Ryan Neuzil all hanging around to compete for spots.

Zaccheaus, meanwhile, has seen his role disintegrate with Marcus Mariota out of the lineup. After briefly leading the team in receiving, OZ has just 10 targets and four catches over the past three weeks, including zero targets against the Cardinals. He’s a capable receiver who should be back next year, but the rapport he had with Mariota is just absent with Ridder thus far.

There are few surprises otherwise. London is the team’s leading receiver, the Falcons continue to lean heavily on Pruitt and Hesse, and Allgeier is the lead back, though Cordarrelle Patterson is thankfully still getting a ton of looks. This offense is a big-time work in progress, buut at least there are pieces here for next year.


Richie Grant: 74

A.J. Terrell: 74

Rashaan Evans: 74

Troy Andersen: 64

Cornell Armstrong: 59

Lorenzo Carter: 59

Isaiah Oliver: 56

Jaylinn Hawkins: 53

Grady Jarrett: 50

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 36

Abdullah Anderson: 35

Jalen Dalton: 31

Arnold Ebiketie: 31

Timothy Horne: 29

Dee Alford: 23

DeAngelo Malone: 22

Jaleel Johnson: 17

Darren Hall: 15

Mykal Walker: 12

Cornell Armstrong has taken over for Darren Hall as a starter, which was not something I had on my 2022 bingo card. Armstrong had an up-and-down day again but a better one than last week, and at the very least the coaching staff’s trust in him probably bodes well for 2023. I’m less certain that it bodes well for Hall, who held down the spot opposite A.J. Terrell for a long time but clearly lost the favor of Dean Pees and company down the stretch.

Mykal Walker is similarly parked. He should at least have a reserve and special teams role next year, but if he’s going to start again, Walker will either need to make big strides this spring or find another team to do it on down the line. I was quite certain he’d fare well as a starter, so I’m still rooting for another chance. In the meantime, Troy Andersen continues to soak up valuable reps as a starter.

Oliver’s resurgence was a welcome sight, as he took some safety snaps and played cornerback, thriving at both spots on Sunday. A strong finish to a season coming off a major injury would be welcome for him, as he’s still a good, versatile fit for this defense. I don’t know why the team seemingly stopped playing him for weeks before this.

Finally, I got my wish with Alford and Ebiketie, who both saw their playing time surge. Alford had a couple of smaller adventures in coverage but allowed just two catches for 28 yards on four targets, adding a key tackle and a pass breakup. I’m hopeful he’ll have a 2023 role, as well.

This defense needs upgrades, but the more of these younger players the Falcons can rely on to take a step forward as reserves or starters next year, the better.

Special Teams

Nick Kwiatkoski: 21

Erik Harris: 21

Mike Ford: 21

DeAngelo Malone: 18

KhaDarel Hodge: 15

Avery Williams: 15

Parker Hesse: 13

Keith Smith: 12

Richie Grant: 11

Bradley Pinion: 11

Adetokunbo Ogundeji: 10

MyCole Pruitt: 10

Frank Darby: 7

Liam McCullough: 7

Abdullah Anderson: 6

Jalen Dalton: 6

Timothy Horne: 6

Jaleel Johnson: 6

Cordarrelle Patterson: 6

Troy Andersen: 5

Darren Hall: 5

Isaiah Oliver: 4

Kaleb McGary: 4

Jake Matthews: 4

Chris Lindstrom: 4

Younghoe Koo: 4

Ryan Neuzil: 4

Germain Ifedi: 4

Colby Gossett: 4

Jaylinn Hawkins: 3

Cornell Armstrong: 2

Lorenzo Carter: 2

Tyler Allgeier: 2

Mykal Walker: 1

Olamide Zaccheaus: 1

No notes here, but aside from a penalty on Mike Ford, special teams was once again a strength for the Falcons, as it has been throughout the 2022 season. Marquice Williams has been a terrific addition for this team, and regardless of who he’s working with in 2023, I feel confident he’ll get the best out of ‘em.