Snap counts and notes from Falcons’ Week 9 win over Saints

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Rarely do you see fans upset after a big win, especially one over a hated division rival on the road. The Falcons didn’t just defeat the Saints on Sunday, they also moved into the final NFC playoff seed. Considering the team hasn’t qualified for the postseason since 2017, why exactly were fans frustrated?

Well, Atlanta’s 24-6 fourth-quarter lead didn’t just shrink, New Orleans actually took a 25-24 lead with a minute left after the Falcons failed to put the game away. Ultimately, Matt Ryan and Cordarrelle Patterson got the job done with a clutch drive to set up a game-winning Younghoe Koo field goal.

Here’s our Week 9 snap counts and notes from the Falcons’ 27-25 win over the Saints.

Offense - 59

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

* = Signifies Starter

Pos

Player

Snaps

Snap Percentage

LT

* Jake Matthews

59

100%

LG

* Jalen Mayfield

59

100%

C

* Matt Hennessy

59

100%

RG

* Chris Lindstrom

59

100%

RT

* Kaleb McGary

59

100%

TE

* Kyle Pitts

44

75%

TE

* Hayden Hurst

26

44%

WR

* Russell Gage

48

81%

WR

* Tajae Sharpe

47

80%

HB

* Cordarrelle Patterson

33

56%

QB

* Matt Ryan

59

100%

TE

Lee Smith

17

28%

RT

Jason Spriggs

3

5%

WR

Olamide Zaccheaus

29

49%

WR

Christian Blake

3

5%

FB

Keith Smith

10

17%

HB

Mike Davis

33

11%

QB

Feleipe Franks

2

3%

Notes: Offense

(AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

Russell Gage and Tajae Sharpe remain the top two receivers in Calvin Ridleys absence. Both receivers saw at least 80 percent of the defensive snaps, 30 percent more than Olamide Zaccheaus.

Additionally, Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson got an even split at running back. Both players played over 50 percent of the offensive snaps, as there were many plays where the two were featured together. Davis and Patterson have two completely different styles of play, which has been very beneficial to the Falcons, especially in relief of Ridley.

Lastly, you would like to see more from tight end Hayden Hurst. His Week 9 snap count was his second-lowest total of the season. Hurst has now played three straight games where he hasn’t been featured on 40 or more snaps.

Defense - 76

(AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

* = Signifies Starter

Pos

Player

Snaps

Snap Percentage

DT

* Grady Jarrett

57

75%

DT

* Tyeler Davison

22

29%

DT

* Marlon Davidson

36

47%

OLB

* Ade Ogundeji

52

68%

OLB

* Steven Means

38

50%

MLB

* Deion Jones

76

100%

MLB

* Foye Oluokun

76

100%

CB

* A.J. Terrell

76

100%

CB

* Fabian Moreau

76

100%

S

* Erik Harris

76

100%

S

* Duron Harmon

76

76%

DT

Anthony Rush

25

33%

DT

Mike Pennel

22

29%

OLB

Brandon Copeland

32

42%

OLB

James Vaughters

30

39%

OLB

Mykal Walker

8

11%

CB

Avery Williams

10

13%

FS

Jaylinn Hawkins

48

63%

Notes: Defense

(AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

Week 9 was the first week where the secondary barely rotated. When they did rotate, it was to bring in Jaylinn Hawkins, who’s been the Falcons’ best safety this season. How Hawkins hasn’t cemented himself as a starter is unknown. Both Harmon and Harris have have struggled at times, and this defense could benefit from Hawkins seeing the field more often.

This week’s defensive front rotation saw Anthony Rush and Mike Pennel both get 20-plus snaps on defense. Edge rusher James Vaughters saw his role increased this week by nearly 100 percent. Coming off the practice squad a week ago, Vaughters snap count went from 16 to 30 on defense. Vaughters earned the team’s highest overall Pro Football Focus grade in Week 9.

Sunday’s win featured minimal use of Mykal Walker, and none of Richie Grant. Dean Pees even opted to using Avery Williams at the slot cornerback position over Grant, the team’s 2021 second-round pick. It wouldn’t be too much of a concern if Grant was being benched for a veteran, however considering that Williams is also a rookie, it is a bit concerning.

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