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Detroit Lions Week 15 snap counts: Defense goes big, still can’t stop Derrick Henry

Detroit tried to go heavy on defense, but it didn’t work.

Detroit Lions v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Here’s a look at the Detroit Lions’ Week 15 snap counts against the Tennessee Titans.

Offense

Quarterbacks:

Matthew Stafford: 56 (86%)
Chase Daniel: 9 (14%)

Running backs:

D’Andre Swift: 42 (65%)
Adrian Peterson: 16 (25%)
Kerryon Johnson: 7 (11%) — 7 special teams snaps (27%)
Jason Cabinda: 2 (3%) — 14 (54%)

Tight ends:

T.J. Hockenson: 52 (80%)
Jesse James: 32 (49%) — 12 (46%)
Hunter Bryant: 7 (11%) — 8 (31%)

Wide receivers:

Marvin Jones Jr.: 58 (89%)
Mohamed Sanu: 42 (65%)
Quintez Cephus: 29 (45%) — 8 (31%)
Danny Amendola: 27 (42%) — 1 (4%)
Jamal Agnew: 10 (15%) — 16 (62%)

Offensive tackles:

Taylor Decker: 65 (100%)
Matt Nelson: 33 (51%) — 4 (15%)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 33 (51%) — 1 (4%)
Dan Skipper: 0 (0%) — 10 (38%)

Guards/centers

Jonah Jackson: 65 (100%) — 4 (15%)
Oday Aboushi: 65 (100%) — 4 (15%)
Joe Dahl: 65 (100%) — 4 (15%)
Marcus Martin: 0 (0%) — 3 (12%)

Observations:

  • D’Andre Swift continues to win more and more playing time after returning from his concussion/illness. His 65 percent playing time is the second-highest of his rookie season, only trailing his first career start against Washington. On the other hand, Kerryon Johnson had his lowest participation rate since being drafted by the Lions.
  • The Lions continue to use Hunter Bryant sparingly, but he finally showed his potential with a big 44-yard grab against the Titans.
  • Safe to say Darrell Bevell isn’t as enamored with a fullback as Matt Patricia was. Jason Cabinda averaged 9.5 snaps per game in 2020 under Patricia. He’s averaged just 4.0 snaps under Bevell.
  • Abnormally small amount of playing time by Danny Amendola this week, as Detroit bumped up their tight end usage a bit this week compared to last week.

Defense:

Defensive end:

Romeo Okwara: 58 (85%) — 11 (42%)
Austin Bryant: 39 (57%) — 1 (4%)

Defensive tackle:

John Penisini: 48 (71%)
Nick Williams: 42 (62%) — 6 (23%)
Kevin Strong: 37 (54%)
Frank Herron: 34 (50%) — 5 (19%)

Linebackers:

Jamie Collins Sr.: 54 (79%)
Jahlani Tavai: 31 (46%) — 10 (38%)
Christian Jones: 29 (43%) — 12 (46%)
Jarrad Davis: 27 (40%) — 7 (27%)
Reggie Ragland: 24 (35%)
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 0 (0%) — 22 (85%)

Cornerbacks:

Amani Oruwariye: 68 (100%) — 6 (23%)
Justin Coleman: 50 (74%) — 3 (12%)
Alex Myres: 28 (41%) — 1 (4%)
Mike Ford: 15 (22%) — 11 (42%)

Safeties:

Duron Harmon: 68 (100%) — 9 (36%)
Jayron Kearse: 67 (99%) — 5 (19%)
Will Harris: 16 (24%) — 16 (62%)
Tracy Walker: 13 (19%) — 5 (19%)
Miles Killebrew: 0 (0%) — 22 (85%)
C.J. Moore: 0 (0%) — 16 (62%)

Observations:

  • The Lions’ game plan was clear: load up on defensive linemen and try to stop Derrick Henry. Nose tackle John Penisini’s saw his second-highest snap percentage of the season (71), while Nick Williams’ 62 percent was his fifth-highest of the season. Seldomly used Frank Herron and Kevin Strong both set season-highs.

While the Lions were able to keep Henry in check early, he finished with 147 rushing yards and 6.1 yards per carry. Welp.

  • Reggie Ragland has quietly seen his playing time decline since Matt Patricia was fired. After averaging around 50 percent of the snaps all season, he hasn’t been above 35 percent in the past three weeks. That time has been given to Jahlani Tavai and a little to Jarrad Davis this week.
  • Welcome to the NFL, Alex Myres.
  • Tracy Walker’s playing time took a nosedive, but that is likely attributed to his injury.

Special teams:

Matt Prater: 9 (35%)
Jack Fox: 7 (27%)
Don Muhlbach: 6 (23%)