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Packers Snap Counts, Week 2: Injuries & poor play shuffle the deck on defense

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Breaking down the Packers’ playing time illustrates how the team adjusted to its early struggles in Atlanta.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday evening, the Green Bay Packers sideline turned into a M*A*S*H unit at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as the team saw player after player leave the field with injuries. First Mike Daniels, then Jordy Nelson, and later Kentrell Brice suffered injuries, and none returned to the field. In addition, the secondary had no success covering Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and the Falcons’ receivers.

These factors forced the Packers to shuffle the deck in their lineup, adjusting on the fly as the Atlanta Falcons took advantage of the absences on their way to a 34-23 victory over Green Bay.

Here is a look at how the snaps broke down for the Packers’ offense and defense this week.

OFFENSE (76 plays)

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers lined up on the field for all 76 offensive snaps.

Offensive Line

LT Kyle Murphy 76, LG Lane Taylor 76, C Corey Linsley 76, RG Jahri Evans 76, RT Justin McCray 76

For the second straight game, the line that started the game played every snap together. The problem was that the line started without both preferred tackles, leaving Murphy to move over from right tackle (where he played against Seattle to the left side and putting McCray — who had never played a down in the NFL before and had not taken a single snap at tackle in the preseason — on the right side. All told, the two held up about as well as could be expected, allowing several pressures but often giving Rodgers enough time to make something happen.

Running Backs

Ty Montgomery 65, Jamaal Williams 11, Aaron Ripkowski 8

Once again, Montgomery demonstrated that there will be no timeshare in the Packers’ backfield, a fact which is especially true when the team is forced to pass early and often. Ripkowski’s snaps came mainly late in the game as Rodgers’ personal protector, while Montgomery was split out as a receiver. Williams had three touches: two carries for six yards and one reception for five.

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams 71, Geronimo Allison 61, Randall Cobb 54, Trevor Davis 17, Jordy Nelson 7, Jeff Janis 1

With Nelson leaving the game with a quad injury on the first series, the Packers went with Allison as the other boundary receiver opposite Adams, still sticking with three wideouts on a majority of snaps. Allison’s first game back off suspension wasn’t great — he caught just three of five targets for 24 yards and appeared to slow up on a route, which contributed to Aaron Rodgers’ interception at the end of the first half.

Adams had an excellent game, catching eight of ten passes for 99 yards and a score. Cobb had decent production again, with six catches for 60. Davis was a non-factor, with one reception for nine yards.

Tight Ends

Martellus Bennett 62, Lance Kendricks 13, Richard Rodgers 10

It was a rough game for Bennett, who was targeted 11 times but caught just five passes. He also dropped several passes in the first half, failing to record a reception on four targets before the break. There were also three other incomplete passes sent his way in the first half that were nullified due to penalties on the Falcons’ defense. Still, he started becoming a factor around the same time the offense started to move the ball with consistency, which probably is not unrelated.

Kendricks barely had his name called all night, while Rodgers had a pair of catches, with yards after the catch on both!

DEFENSE (58 plays)

Defensive Linemen

Kenny Clark 47, Dean Lowry 34, Quinton Dial 34, Mike Daniels 7

Sans an injured Daniels, who hurt a hamstring on the final play of the opening drive and with Montravius Adams inactive, the Packers had just three linemen for most of the game. That necessitated the use of a two-man line for most of the game, even when the Falcons went into clock-eating mode in the second half.

Outside Linebackers

Nick Perry 53, Clay Matthews 52, Kyler Fackrell 19

While Perry was the more effective edge rusher in week one, that title went to Matthews this week. He had his best game in a while, as he beat backup right tackle Ty Sambrailo with regularity on his way to 1.5 sacks, an additional tackle for loss, and three more hits on Matt Ryan. Perry had a tough day against left tackle Jake Matthews (Clay’s cousin), and did not record a hit on Ryan. Fackrell’s most notable play was allowing Ryan — who is not known to be fleet of foot — to scramble and pull away from him for a big gain.

Inside Linebackers

Morgan Burnett 58, Blake Martinez 38, Jake Ryan 17, Joe Thomas 14

We’re officially listing Burnett as an inside linebacker now, given his role in the Nitro package. He did take a handful of snaps at strong safety, but still played primarily as an off-ball linebacker. Martinez built on last week’s strong performance with another solid game, recording a sack on a nifty combo blitz concept and adding another two tackles for loss. Meanwhile, Ryan made four tackles in his limited snaps while Thomas recorded a half-sack.

Safeties

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 58, Josh Jones 29, Kentrell Brice 21

With Burnett playing linebacker, Brice played most of the first half at strong safety. However, he left the game with an injury as well, giving Jones some extensive playing time. The rookie safety responded with three solo tackles, one for a loss.

Cornerbacks

Davon House 49, Kevin King 46, Quinten Rollins 34, Damarious Randall 28, Josh Hawkins 1

Once it became clear that the Packers’ third-year corners could not contain Julio Jones, Dom Capers dialed up rookie Kevin King for a prominent role on defense. The 6’3” King acquitted himself very well, allowing no receptions and breaking up a pass. That breakup was the only one recorded by any cornerback on Sunday. Meanwhile, Randall and Rollins struggled in man coverage, and the entire unit as a whole looked weak in run support.

Expect King to start next Sunday’s game against the Bengals as a boundary corner, likely taking Randall’s place.