Counting snaps from Thursday night’s 42-10 loss at Green Bay and trying to find some meaning …
Offensive snaps: 79.
100 percent participation: Offensive linemen Matt Kalil, Charlie Johnson, John Sullivan, Vladimir Ducasse and Phil Loadholt. And you might have noticed that quarterback Christian Ponder also started, struggled a tad or two and finished all 79 snaps.
Defensive snaps: 54.
100 percent participation: Defensive backs Robert Blanton, Harrison Smith and Captain Munnerlyn, and linebackers Anthony Barr and Gerald Hodges.
Special teams leaders: 23 snaps (74 percent) apiece for MarQuies Gray, Jabari Price, Michael Mauti, Antone Exum, Audie Cole and Andrew Sendejo.
Overall snap count leaders: 81 apiece for Kalil, Ducasse, Sullivan and Loadholt.
- Ponder isn’t on the same page with receivers often, but he and Greg Jennings never seem to be in the same library together. We’ve deduced this before, and receiver Greg Jennings has said it numerous times in not so many words while explaining his chemistry with Matt Cassel. But Thursday’s game was further proof that Ponder either doesn’t have the time, patience or trust in his arm when it comes to connecting with Jennings. Jennings played 74 of the quietest snaps (94 percent) you’ll ever see. He was targeted six times and caught two passes for 31 yards. We wouldn’t feel too sorry for him. In his final days in Green Bay, Jennings reportedly had the choice between the Packers and Vikings. He took more money to join the Vikings. And the deal was pretty clear on the fact that Aaron Rodgers would have to stay behind in Green Bay. So Thursday was a big old spoon of medicine for the former Packer.
- Jarius Wright played 62 snaps (78 percent) and was targeted eight times. This guy is more valuable than anybody seems to realize. But no one will ever be counting his snaps and barking about him getting the ball more. Yes, the draft is that powerful. Wright was a fourth-rounder. A very good fourth-rounder.
- The team seems comfortable splitting the tight end reps fairly evenly between Rhett Ellison (41) and Chase Ford (35). MarQuies Gray got nine snaps.
- Running backs Matt Asiata (44) and Jerick McKinnon (30) were fairly close in snap counts again. Joe Banyard played five snaps in garbage time, otherwise known as when Ponder began to warm up.
- Blanton remains the only defender to have played every snap this season. He has done some good things, but there’s an inconsistency level that makes one think that if Blanton is the only guy hasn’t left the field once, then safety could be a high priority in the draft next spring.
- Hodges has played 100 percent of the snaps in the two games that he has filled in for Chad Greenway. Everybody on defense struggled on Thursday, but Hodges has the kind of ability that will allow the team to be patient with Greenway’s injuries.
- Cornerback Xavier Rhodes missed only one play. He appeared to suffer a shoulder stinger in the opening minutes, but came right back. Health is the only thing that stands between this guy and a Pro Bowl very soon.
- Josh Robinson continues to play a little more than half of the snaps (31) as the No. 3 corner. Again, no one played particularly well on Thursday. But Robinson is the front-runner on most improved player from last season.
- Four defensive linemen — Brian Robison (46), Everson Griffen (42), Linval Joseph (35) and Sharrif Floyd (33) — played between 85 and 61 percent of the snaps.
- When one sees key starters such as Smith and Rhodes play 26 and 23 percent of the special teams snaps (eight and seven), one should ask themselves, “What is the purpose of having seven game-day inactives?” Granted, not all of the inactive players have the skills to play special teams, but a guy like Brandon Watts, when healthy, should be able to handle the role of Smith or Rhodes rather than standing on the sideline in a sweatsuit as an inactive player.