Tallying up the snap counts is always an interesting exercise in regular season football games, but in the preseason it probably leads to far more interesting and valuable conclusions. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Tennessee Titans 31-17 on Thursday night and they divided up their snaps across all levels of the depth chart. However, there are plenty of useful observations that we can make by looking at these numbers.
The Packers out-snapped the Titans by a wide margin in the game — 93 to 65 — and it showed in the final time of possession, which went 35:34 for Green Bay to 24:26 for Tennessee. The Titans actually led in TOP by a few seconds at the half, but a 7:45 drive to start the third quarter and a quick Titans turnover two series later gave the Packers a huge edge overall.
Here’s a look at how the playing time broke down.
OFFENSE (93 plays)
DeShone Kizer 37, Tim Boyle 32, Brett Hundley 24
Kizer led all the Packers quarterbacks in total snaps despite running just two series; both drives ended inside the Titans’ five-yard line (one had a failed fourth down and the other was a touchdown). That high snap count was due to a multitude of penalties by both teams on both drives. Meanwhile Hundley got three series early on, resulting in one scoring drive and one turnover (that wasn’t really his fault).
Boyle took over with about six minutes left in the third quarter and showed off his deep ball, connecting on big plays with Equanimeous St. Brown (for 28 yards), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (a 15-yard touchdown), and Jake Kumerow (a 52-yard bomb for a score). He also hit an open J’Mon Moore right in stride on what would have been another explosive play, but Moore dropped the football.
All told, all three quarterbacks had positive moments throwing the football, interspersed with some reasons for concern, and each threw for over 100 yards on the day.
Joel Bouagnon 34, Ty Montgomery 29, Aaron Ripkowski 21, Akeem Judd 17, Jamaal Williams 13
It wasn’t a big day on the stat sheet for the Packers’ runners, with no player racking up more than 30 yards from scrimmage. However, Williams had a few tough runs early and he scored the Packers’ first touchdown on a reception in the flat, while Bouagnon added a goal-line score in the third quarter. Montgomery was particularly impressive in pass protection, as he picked up multiple blitzes that allowed his quarterbacks enough time to get the football out of their hands.
Equanimeous St. Brown 44, J’Mon Moore 42, DeAngelo Yancey 40, Jake Kumerow 39, Marquez Valdes-Scantling 38, Geronimo Allison 27, Davante Adams 8, Kyle Lewis 3
Predictably, the five bubble receivers who are auditioning for jobs (including the three draft picks) each got similar numbers of snaps. However, it appeared that Kumerow and Moore did not show up on the field for the first drive with the “starting” offense. St. Brown and Valdes-Scantling were impressive, as MVS led the way with five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown and EQ caught four balls for 61 yards.
Kumerow was largely quiet early on, thanks in part to some inaccurate passes from the Packers’ quarterbacks in his general direction. However, he appeared to run crisp routes throughout the contest and hauled in a 52-yard deep ball from Boyle up the left sideline late in the game to put away the win.
Moore caught three passes for 27 yards, but his drops will be the story of the game. Including plays that were erased by penalty, Moore saw nine targets, but at least three of them were catchable balls; two were contested and one was the ugly drop on what could have been a long touchdown. He also added a holding penalty on a kickoff return.
Yancey caught just two passes for 10 yards.
Emanuel Byrd 28, Robert Tonyan 26, Kevin Rader 21, Lance Kendricks 13, Ryan Smith 13, Marcedes Lewis 8
The Packers also gave some young tight ends extended action, though they were not heavily involved in the passing game. The only receptions came from Tonyan (for 10 yards) and Smith (seven yards).
Adam Pankey 70, Kyle Murphy 61, Dillon Day 58, Jason Spriggs 51, Kofi Amichia 51, Justin McCray 42, Byron Bell 42, Alex Light 33, Austin Davis 33, Lucas Patrck 13, Corey Linsley 12
The Packers’ tackles struggled heavily against the ones and twos for Tennessee, particularly Bell and Murphy. Each was beaten for multiple pressures and turnover plays — Murphy allowed a strip-sack to Harold Landry on a speed rush (which Patrick luckily recovered) while Bell allowed Gemil President to hit Hundley while he threw, leading to an interception. All told, Bell gave up six pressures and Murphy four, according to Pro Football Focus. When Tennessee got into their reserves, the Packers’ backup linemen fared better; Boyle had plenty of time to throw for much of his stint in the game.
One oddity was the fact that Bell got the start at right tackle ahead of Spriggs, who came on later. Mike McCarthy only said after the game that “something happened” this week to lead to that decision without elaborating.
Montravius Adams 34, James Looney 32, Dean Lowry 27, Joey Mbu 17, Conor Sheehy 17, Tyler Lancaster 16, Kenny Clark 11
With no Mike Daniels or Muhammad Wilkerson, the Packers leaned on their trio of reserves heavily — it’s clear to see where the distinction is between the second-team line and the third unit. Adams had a few nice moments and Lowry remains solid, while Sheehy had a few nice plays against the run.
Reggie Gilbert 35, Kyler Fackrell 35, Vince Biegel 22, James Hearns 17, Chris Odom 14, Kendall Donnerson 7
Gilbert and Fackrell started the game on the outside and it’s clear from this game that Gilbert is ready for extended NFL action, even against starting tackles. He repeatedly set a good edge against the run and drew at least one holding penalty, and PFF credited him with four pass rush pressures in 19 snaps.
The other players were just okay, aside from one impressive play early in the fourth quarter. Donnerson — whose speed and athleticism are obvious — still needs to learn the finer points of football, but he stripped running back Akrum Wadley on a carry up the middle, and Biegel recovered.
Fackrell recorded the Packers’ lone sack in the stat sheet, but it was on a scramble by backup QB Blaine Gabbert that went for no gain.
Oren Burks 41, Greer Martini 29, Ahmad Thomas 27, Blake Martinez 13, Naashon Hughes 10, Marcus Porter 9
Unsurprisingly, Burks played with both the starting defense and the second string, and although he allowed several completions, he shut each of them down quickly after the catch was made. Only one of those receptions went for a first down, as Burks finished with six total tackles to lead the team.
Thomas and Martini both flashed a bit as well; Thomas got a hit on a quarterback in pass rush and recorded three tackles, while Martini lined up with the first-team kick coverage unit and picked up three tackles (one on special teams).
Marwin Evans 37, Raven Greene 26, Kentrell Brice 21, Jermaine Whitehead 19, Josh Jones 14, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 10
The safety position was the only one hit by notable injury on Thursday night; Whitehead left the game in the first half with a back injury and Jones went to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion. In addition to these players taking snaps on the back end, Quinten Rollins also lined up at free safety a few times, likely filling in as well as to see if he can show anything there since he has struggled elsewhere.
Josh Jackson 34, Josh Hawkins 26, Demetri Goodson 25, Lenzy Pipkins 24, Quinten Rollins 22, Herb Waters 20, Donatello Brown 14, Davon House 10
Jackson didn’t show up much on the stat sheet, but he had good coverage for most of the game — far better than his veteran counterparts, even though he got called for a holding penalty in the first half. That was an extremely questionable call, however, as he was in good position and got just enough of his receiver’s jersey to make it look like he impeded the player’s progress.
Rollins was burned on a big play on the first drive of the game, while House gave up a touchdown pass and Goodson got torched later in the game. Pipkins maintained his physical brand of play, racking up five tackles, and he also recorded the Packers’ only pass breakup on the night.