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Detroit Lions Week 1 snap count observations: Jarrad Davis sees sharp decline in playing time

A look at the participation report from Sunday’s season opener.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a look at the Detroit Lions’ Week 1 snap counts against the Chicago Bears.

Offense

Quarterbacks:

Matthew Stafford: 78 (100%)

Running backs:

D’Andre Swift: 34 (44%)
Adrian Peterson: 24 (31%)
Kerryon Johnson: 20 (26%)
Jason Cabinda: 14 (18%) — 20 (62%)
Ty Johnson: 0 (0%) — 12 special teams snaps (38%)

Tight ends:

T.J. Hockenson: 50 (64%)
Jesse James: 39 (50%) — 12 (38%)

Wide receivers:

Marvin Jones Jr.: 71 (91%)
Quintez Cephus: 62 (79%) — 3 (9%)
Danny Amendola: 43 (55%)
Marvin Hall: 16 (21%)
Jamal Agnew: 15 (19%) — 14 (44%)

Offensive tackles:

Tyrell Crosby: 78 (100%) — 6 (19%)
Taylor Decker: 78 (100%)
Matt Nelson: 2 (3%) — 6 (19%)

Guards/centers

Joe Dahl: 78 (100%) — 6 (19%)
Frank Ragnow: 78 (100%) — 6 (19%)
Jonah Jackson: 70 (90%) — 6 (19%)
Oday Aboushi: 8 (10%) — 6 (19%)
Kenny Wiggins: 0 (0%) — 6 (19%)

Observations:

  • The Lions’ use of their running backs is nothing short of fascinating. Kerryon Johnson got the start, but was slowly phased out of the game. Adrian Peterson was the most efficient runner, and touched the ball on 17 of his 24 snaps. Meanwhile, D’Andre Swift played the most of all, but only got the ball eight times. This is truly a running back by committee, but Peterson proved to be the most valuable.
  • Color me surprised, but the Lions put Quintez Cephus into the starting lineup with Kenny Golladay out. I figured Marvin Hall would be the guy, but the Lions threw the rookie into the fire. While he didn’t look out of place, necessarily, three catches on 10 targets wasn’t good enough.
  • I’m pretty sure the guard rotation is dead. Jonah Jackson did come out for 10 snaps, apparently, though I’m not sure when and why that happened. Otherwise, the other four offensive linemen stayed in for the entire game. Mildly interesting: Taylor Decker was the only offensive linemen not to be involved in special teams.

Defense:

Defensive end:

Trey Flowers: 46 (71%) — 1 (3%)
Romeo Okwara: 29 (45%) — 10 (31%)

Defensive tackle:

Nick Williams: 41 (63%) — 6 (19%)
Danny Shelton: 39 (60%) — 6 (19%)
Da’Shawn Hand: 29 (45%) — 5 (16%)
John Penisini: 9 (14%)

Linebackers:

Jahlani Tavai: 51 (78%) — 4 (12%)
Christian Jones: 44 (68%) — 10 (31%)
Jarrad Davis: 35 (54%) — 5 (16%)
Jamie Collins Sr.: 19 (29%) — 2 (6%)
Reggie Ragland: 19 (29%) — 1 (3%)
Julian Okwara: 7 (11%) — 11 (34%)
Jalen Reeves Maybin: 0 (0%) — 25 (78%)
Elijah Lee: 0 (0%) — 20 (62%)

Cornerbacks:

Amani Oruwariye: 65 (100%) — 2 (6%)
Desmond Trufant: 48 (74%)
Darryl Roberts: 28 (43%) — 19 (59%)
Justin Coleman: 19 (29%) — 4 (12%)
Tony McRae: 16 (25%) — 19 (59%)

Safeties:

Duron Harmon: 65 (100%) — 10 (31%)
Tracy Walker: 54 (83%) — 16 (50%)
Will Harris: 52 (80%) — 9 (28%)
Miles Killebrew: 0 (0%) — 25 (78%)

Observations:

  • The Lions’ linebacker usage was all over the place—which was to be expected even before Jamie Collins got himself ejected. However, the big thing that jumps out is Jarrad Davis seeing just 54 percent of snaps. Last year, he never dipped below 78 percent for the entire season. It really feels like this is becoming Jahlani Tavai’s defense.
  • With all the injuries to the secondary, Darryl Roberts and Tony McRae were the next men up, and both had to close out the game. We saw how that went.
  • While many were—and continue to be—up in arms about Will Harris getting the start over Tracy Walker, their snaps ended up nearly the same. It’s still a curious decision to be taking Walker off the field at all, but it’s probably not as drastic of a move as many were making it out to be.

Special teams:

Jack Fox: 16 special teams snaps (50%)
Don Muhlbach: 10 (31%)
Matt Prater: 6 (19%)