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Detroit Lions Week 16 snap counts: Detroit goes bulky vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Lions brought in the heavy cavalry vs. the vikes.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the snap counts for the Detroit Lions’ Week 16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Offense:

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford: 60 (80%)
Matt Cassel: 15 (20%)

Running backs

Theo Riddick: 33 (44%)
Zach Zenner: 27 (36%) — 19 special teams snaps (66%)
LeGarrette Blount: 22 (29%)

Tight ends

Levine Toilolo: 46 (61%) — 7 (24%)
Jerome Cunningham: 20 (27%) — 3 (10%)
Luke Willson: 13 (17%) — 4 (14%)

Wide receivers

Andy Jones: 62 (83%) — 14 (48%)
Kenny Golladay: 58 (77%) — 1 defensive snap
TJ Jones: 52 (69%)
Brandon Powell: 15 (20%) — 11 (38%)

Offensive tackles

Rick Wagner: 75 (100%) — 3 (10%)
Taylor Decker: 75 (100%)
Tyrell Crosby: 8 (11%) — 3 (10%)

Guards/centers

Kenny Wiggins: 75 (100%) — 3 (10%)
Graham Glasgow: 75 (100%) — 3 (10%)
Frank Ragnow: 74 (99%) — 3 (10%)
Joe Dahl: 14 (19%) — 3 (10%)

Observations:

  • If you would’ve predicted that by Week 16, Andy Jones would be getting more snaps than Kenny Golladay, you would’ve been laughed off this website. It’s hard to justify those numbers for any other reason than for the Lions simply scouting their young talent.
  • Zach Zenner saw his participation rate drop by 10 percent this week. LeGarrette Blount saw his rise 10 percent. No comment.
  • Taylor Decker was off special teams again, suggesting he’s still battling through injury.
  • Speaking of the offensive line, the Lions showed a lot of heavy sets with Joe Dahl in as an extra lineman, sometimes lined up out wide as a receiver. That strategy actually seemed to work pretty well in both protecting Matthew Stafford and creating occasional rushing lanes against a good defensive front.

Defense:

Defensive end

Romeo Okwara: 49 (80%) — 7 (24%)
Eric Lee: 9 (15%) — 4 (14%)

Defensive tackle

Ricky Jean Francois: 44 (72%) — 7 (24%)
Damon Harrison: 39 (64%) — 5 (17%)
John Atkins: 30 (49%) — 5 (17%)
A’Shawn Robinson: 15 (25%)

Linebackers

Jarrad Davis: 61 (100%) — 6 (21%)
Devon Kennard: 61 (100%) — 2 (7%)
Christian Jones: 46 (75%) — 5 (17%)
Eli Harold: 7 (11%) — 9 (31%)
Kelvin Sheppard: 0 (0%) — 20 (69%)
Trevor Bates: 0 (0%) — 15 (52%)

Cornerbacks

Darius Slay: 59 (97%) — 1 (3%)
Nevin Lawson: 55 (90%) — 5 (17%)
Mike Ford: 24 (39%) — 11 (38%)
Marcus Cooper: 17 (28%) — 15 (52%)
DeShawn Shead: 11 (18%) — 11 (38%)
Jamal Agnew: 0 (0%) — 11 (38%)

Safety

Quandre Diggs: 58 (95%) — 1 (3%)
Glover Quin: 39 (64%) — 5 (17%)
Tracy Walker: 29 (48%) — 16 (55%)
Tavon Wilson: 17 (28%) — 12 (41%)
Miles Killebrew: 0 (0%) — 25 (86%)

Observations:

  • The Lions went heavy on interior defenders in an effort to stop the run, and it worked for a good portion of the game. After A’Shawn Robinson went down with an injury early, undrafted rookie John Atkins got a heavy dose of playing time. Perhaps most surprising, however, was the bulk of playing time Ricky Jean Francois got—as he was often the Lions’ nose tackle on passing downs (formerly Da’Shawn Hand’s role).
  • With the Lions struggling to find a consistent outside corner, Mike Ford, Marcus Cooper and DeShawn Shead all got a significant chunk of playing time.
  • At safety, Tacy Walker’s numbers bounced back up, as he nearly played in half of the snaps against the Vikings.

Special teams

Sam Martin: 13 (45%)
Don Muhlbach: 9 (31%)
Matt Prater: 3 (10%)