While wide receiver Mike Wallace was held without a catch for the second straight game and the third time in the past five weeks, the Vikings continue to start him and give him plenty of snaps.
Wallace played 44 of 70 offensive snaps in yesterday’s 20-10 win over the Falcons. Only rookie Stefon Diggs played more among the wide receivers, with 54. It was the eighth straight game and the 10th out of 11 games overall during which Wallace played at least 40 offensive snaps.
Still, despite the Vikings passing on 60 percent of the plays when he was on the field, according to Pro Football Focus, Wallace was only targeted twice. He drew pass interference penalties on both of those plays, so they don’t officially show up as targets in the box score.
Some of my peers in the media have been pushing for the Vikings to start Charles Johnson over Wallace. But Johnson got just 15 snaps against the Vikings, fewer than slot man Jarius Wright, who played 23.
Cordarrelle Patterson, meanwhile, did not play a single offensive snap for the first time since Week 2. So needless to say, he is no threat, either.
Here are some other observations from the official NFL snap counts:
— Making his first NFL start in place of the injured Harrison Smith, safety Antone Exum played all 64 defensive snaps. He had played just 10 snaps on defense combined in the first 10 games of the season. Robert Blanton played 57 snaps after Andrew Sendejo hurt his knee seven plays in.
— For the first time in three weeks, second-year defensive end Scott Crichton actually got in the game on defense. It was only five snaps, but at least it was something. Rookie Danielle Hunter out-snapped him again with 21.
— Speaking of defensive ends, Everson Griffen started despite being listed as questionable heading into the game and played 57 snaps, most among Vikings defensive linemen. Fellow starter Brian Robison played 52.
— With 33 yards on five carries, running back Jerick McKinnon gave the Vikings a spark in the second quarter. But once Adrian Peterson took over the game in the second half, they had little use for McKinnon, who finished with 11 snaps. Peterson played 45 snaps and Matt Asiata got 14.
— Your weekly fullback update: Zach Line played 19 snaps.
— With rookie cornerback Trae Waynes out with an ankle injury, Josh Robinson was active for the first time this season and played four snaps on defense. Starters Terence Newman and Xavier Rhodes played 62 and 61 snaps, respectively, and nickel corner Captain Munnerlyn got 39.
— It looks like young linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks are no longer being hampered much, if at all, by their recent injuries. Kendricks played every snap and Barr played all but the final snap, when he had to leave the field after taking a shot below the belt.
— After using a lot of three-receiver sets against the Packers, the Vikings got back to using their multiple-TE personnel against the Falcons. Starter Kyle Rudolph led all Vikings offensive skill players with 59 snaps. Rhett Ellison was on the field for over half of the offensive plays with 38. And rookie tight end MyCole Pruitt played 16 snaps.