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Packers Week 1 Snap Counts: Cobb in the backfield, Jones/Peppers on the line

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The Packers used a number of players in creative ways on Sunday due to the heat and individuals’ positional versatility.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars by the score of 27-23 on Sunday afternoon, and did so while enduring temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the field for much of the game. With blistering heat and humidity affecting the team, conditioning and conserving players’ snaps became significant concerns, especially on defense.

Here’s a look at how the Packers handled their snap counts on both sides of the football, with a particular eye on formations and alignments. All snap counts come courtesy of the NFL’s official statistics database.

Offense (64 total snaps)

Offensive Line

Bakhtiari 64, Taylor 64, Tretter 64, Lang 64, Bulaga 64

Thankfully, the Packers’ entire offensive line was intact for every snap of the game. All in all, Lane Taylor played pretty well in his first game as the permanent starter, as Malik Jackson did not have much of an impact on the game.

Wide Receivers

Randall Cobb 62, Davante Adams 59, Jordy Nelson 54, Jared Abbrederis 14, Ty Montgomery 11

As usual, the Packers used a heavy dose of their 11 personnel with three wide receivers. Interestingly, the two reserve wideouts saw similar playing time, with Abbrederis up a tick over Montgomery. Abby also saw the only targeted pass between the two, which he caught for an 8-yard gain.

Backs

QB Aaron Rodgers 64, RB Eddie Lacy 36, RB James Starks 18, FB Aaron Ripkowski 8

Between Lacy and Starks, the Packers lined up with a traditional tailback on just 54 of 64 snaps, as Randall Cobb was in the backfield on several occasions. Cobb actually got three rushing attempts, which he turned into 11 yards.

Tight Ends

Jared Cook 33, Richard Rodgers 25

Although Rodgers was the so-called “starter” on the depth chart, Cook was the first tight end on the field. Both players were lined up in the backfield as a fullback on occasion, while Cook also got some time split wide.

Defense (72 snaps)

Defensive Line

Mike Daniels 43, Letroy Guion 39, Christian Ringo 12, Kenny Clark 9, Dean Lowry 7

The Packers used a heavy dose of Julius Peppers and Datone Jones as interior rushers on passing downs (more on that later), allowing Daniels and Guion to get breathers. That helped considerably, as the Packers’ top two linemen accounted for 75% of all snaps by linemen in the game - that should come as little surprise, since the other three were playing in their first NFL contest.

Outside Linebackers

Clay Matthews 53, Nick Perry 52, Datone Jones 40, Julius Peppers 29, Kyler Fackrell 7

The Packers used a heavy rotation as expected, while Jones and Peppers both got snaps on the interior as well as at linebacker. However, it is clear from both the playing time and the flow of the game that the Packers view Perry as their every-down starter at this point over Peppers. Perry played a very solid game, setting the edge well against the run and recording two tackles for loss (one of which was a sack).

Inside Linebackers

Blake Martinez 47, Jake Ryan 43, Joe Thomas 25

Thomas was used more heavily than many (myself included) expected, as the team still values his coverage skills and experience. Of course, Thomas recorded an interception on the Packers’ first defensive series to set up the game’s first score. This will be an interesting split to monitor moving forward.

Cornerbacks

Damarious Randall 68, Sam Shields 62, Quinten Rollins 47, LaDarius Gunter 24

Randall played well throughout the game and was off the field only briefly. On the other hand, Shields left the game late after putting a big hit on T.J. Yeldon. An interesting item was the Packers’ use of Rollins ahead of Micah Hyde as the team’s nickel corner, at least early on. However, Dom Capers did rotate Hyde through regularly, as well as swapping Randall and Rollins in the slot on occasion.

Safeties

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 72, Morgan Burnett 72, Micah Hyde 32, Kentrell Brice 9

With both starting safeties playing every snap, Hyde’s use was limited mainly to slot corner, as usual. However, Burnett is becoming more and more of an in-the-box player, and he lined up close to the line of scrimmage in the dime on many occasions - in essence playing a nickel linebacker role. He continues to be excellent in run support, but did have a rough day in pass coverage. Brice will likely continue to get worked into the mix gradually, but getting a first taste of NFL action is a nice first step.