Falcons snap counts and notes from Sunday’s loss to Eagles

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The Atlanta Falcons opened up the 2021 season with a home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. It was the first time many starters played for more than 10 plays, and for some, such as quarterback Matt Ryan, it was their first game action. There’s no doubt the lack of preseason reps for some was a factor in Sunday’s ugly performance.

Offense - 71

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the snap counts for Atlanta's offense against Philadelphia. * = Signifies starter

Pos

Player

Snaps

Snap Percentage

LT

* Jake Matthews

69

97%

LG

* Jalen Mayfield

64

90%

C

* Matt Hennessey

69

97%

RG

* Chris Lindstrom

69

97%

RT

* Kaleb McGary

71

100%

TE

* Kyle Pitts

49

69%

TE

* Hayden Hurst

43

61%

WR

* Calvin Ridley

61

90%

RB

* Mike Davis

53

75%

RB

* Cordarrelle Patterson

24

34%

QB

* Matt Ryan

69

97%

LT

Jason Spriggs

2

3%

C

Drew Dalman

9

13%

RG

Colby Gossett

2

3%

TE

Lee Smith

20

28%

TE

Parker Hesse

4

7%

WR

Russell Gage

48

61%

WR

Olamide Zaccheaus

18

25%

WR

Tajae Sharpe

10

14%

WR

Christian Blake

5

7%

FB

Keith Smith

20

28%

QB

Josh Rosen

2

3%

Notes: Offense

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Despite making Kyle Pitts the fourth overall selection, Arthur Smith still made sure to feature tight end Hayden Hurst on offense. The pair were featured on over 60 percent of the team's offensive snaps. Of the 49 total snaps taken by Pitts, 71 percent of them were passing plays (63 percent for Hurst). Pitts was targeted eight times, finishing with four receptions and 31 yards. Hurst caught all four targets for 28 yards. When breaking down where Pitts lined up specifically, 24 percent of his total snaps were taken as a traditional tight end. Pitts spent a lot of time in the slot (47 percent) and some on the perimeter (29 percent). Cordarrelle Patterson saw 24 snaps, 67 percent of which were taken from the backfield. Only eight of his snaps were taken at WR or tight end. Looking deeper into the offensive line, center Drew Dalman spent seven of his nine snaps at left guard in place of Jalen Mayfield. Dalman was earlier projected to compete for the left guard spot if he were to get beaten out at center by Matt Hennessey, so maybe in Week 2 we will see Dalman featured more at guard.

Defense - 71

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Here are the snap counts for Atlanta's defense in Week 1. * = Signifies starter

Pos

Player

Snaps

Snap Percentage

LOLB

* Dante Fowler

47

66%

DT

* Grady Jarrett

54

76%

DT

* Tyeler Davison

40

56%

ROLB

* Steven Means

59

83%

MLB

* Deion Jones

71

100%

MLB

* Foye Oluokun

71

100%

CB

* AJ Terrell

68

96%

CB

* Fabian Moreau

65

92%

CB

* Isaiah Oliver

54

76%

FS

* Erik Harris

65

92%

FS

* Duron Harmon

56

79%

LOLB

Ade Ogundeji

21

30%

LOLB

James Vaughters

6

8%

LOLB

Mykal Walker

4

6%

DE

Jonathan Bullard

27

38%

DT

Marlon Davidson

21

30%

DT

John Cominsky

2

3%

ROLB

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner

25

35%

CB

TJ Green

9

13%

SS

Jaylinn Hawkins

15

21%

FS

Richie Grant

6

8%

Notes: Defense

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The biggest takeaway from the Falcons defensive personnel from Week 1 is the lack of safety Richie Grant and linebacker Mykal Walker. With a defensive secondary leaving gaping holes for Eagles receivers to sit in, you would like to at least see Grant get some time at slot or as a deep safety. The same could be said for Walker. Pass coverage was Walker's best asset in 2020 and Deion Jones was targeted seven times, giving up seven completions for 93 yards and a touchdown. Albeit, Jones was one of the starters not to see any action during the preseason, so maybe this is a sign of rust for Atlanta's Mike linebacker.

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