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Detroit Lions - Arizona Cardinals snap count observations: Curious shuffles on the offensive line

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A look at the participation numbers from the Lions’ Week 1 game.

Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Here’s a look at the Detroit Lions’ Week 1 snap counts against the Arizona Cardinals, along with my observations and thoughts about them.

Offense:

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford: 88 (100%)

Running backs

Kerryon Johnson: 50 (57%)
C.J. Anderson: 26 (30%)
Nick Bawden: 22 (25%) — 29 special teams snaps (72%)
Ty Johnson: 8 (9%) — 14 (35%)
J.D. McKissic: 5 (6%) — 7 (18%)

Tight ends

T.J. Hockenson: 64 (73%)
Jesse James: 51 (58%) — 5 (12%)
Logan Thomas: 7 (8%) — 27 (68%)

Wide receivers

Kenny Golladay: 86 (98%)
Marvin Jones Jr.: 71 (81%)
Danny Amendola: 47 (53%)
Chris Lacy: 3 (3%) — 21 (52%)

Offensive tackles

Rick Wagner: 88 (100%)
Taylor Decker: 88 (100%)
Tyrell Crosby: 0 (0%) — 5 (12%)

Guards/centers

Frank Ragnow: 88 (100%)
Joe Dahl: 76 (86%)
Graham Glasgow: 76 (86%)
Kenny Wiggins: 24 (27%)

Observations:

  • When the Lions promised not to wear out Kerryon Johnson, they were very clearly telling the truth. It seemed a little more lopsided during the game—probably because C.J. Anderson got nearly as many carries as Johnson—but those two will obviously be sharing a significant amount of playing time all year.
  • Another expected result: A ton of tight end usage. The Lions very clearly value their tight end, and that was especially true when their offensive tackles were struggling on Sunday.
  • It’s hard to understand what the Lions were thinking along the offensive line. They shuffled starters Graham Glasgow and Joe Dahl in and out of the game with veteran Kenny Wiggins. It almost appeared as if the Lions are still trying to figure out their best combination. Perhaps there’s a different explanation, but we’ll see.

Defense:

Defensive end

Romeo Okwara: 57 (64%) — 6 (15%)
Trey Flowers: 53 (60%)

Defensive tackle

A’Shawn Robinson: 39 (44%) — 6 (15%)
Mike Daniels: 31 (35%) — 6 (15%)
Damon Harrison Sr.: 27 (30%) — 5 (12%)
Kevin Strong: 23 (26%)

Linebackers

Devon Kennard: 81 (91%) — 5 (12%)
Christian Jones: 64 (72%) — 5 (12%)
Jahlani Tavai: 63 (71%) — 10 (25%)
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 52 (58%) — 28 (70%)
Miles Killebrew: 0 (0%) — 29 (72%)

Cornerbacks

Darius Slay: 88 (99%) — 1 (2%)
Rashaan Melvin: 87 (98%) — 1 (2%)
Justin Coleman: 85 (96%) — 17 (42%)
Jamal Agnew: 21 (24%) — 15 (38%)
Mike Ford: 1 (1%) — 21 (52%)
Dee Virgin: 0 (0%) — 27 (68%)

Safety

Tracy Walker: 89 (100%)
Quandre Diggs: 88 (99%) — 1 (2%)
Will Harris: 15 (17%) — 34 (85%)
Tavon Wilson: 15 (17%) — 34 (85%)
C.J. Moore: 0 (0%) — 34 (85%)

Observations:

  • As if there was any doubt, but the Lions intend on spending a lot of their defensive snaps with DBs all over the field. Five members of the secondary had at least 96 percent of the snaps, and another three were on the field for at least 15 snaps. Obviously, the Cardinals are a unique offense that requires more DBs, but this won’t be an anomaly for Detroit’s defense.
  • This was Tracy Walker’s first career start and he didn’t come off the field once.
  • Interesting to see that after all the Jahlani Tavai hype, it was Christian Jones who saw the field slightly more. And with Devon Kennard calling plays, it appears the Lions were telling the truth when they said they weren’t going to throw Tavai to the wolves, despite Jarrad Davis’ injury.
  • In case you were wondering why C.J. Moore made the roster, this makes it pretty clear. They love him as a special teams guy.

Special teams

Sam Martin: 20 (50%)
Don Muhlbach: 13 (32%)
Matt Prater: 5 (12%)