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Detroit Lions snap count observations: Top 2 receivers emerge vs. Bears

Arise, Josh Reynolds and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Let’s take a closer look at the Detroit Lions Week 12 snap counts in their 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Offense

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff: 49 (100%)

Running backs

Jamaal Williams: 31 (63%)
D’Andre Swift: 10 (23%)
Jason Cabinda: 8 (16%) — 16 special teams snaps (67%)
Jermar Jefferson: 5 (10%)
Godwin Igwebuike: 4 (8%) — 16 (67%)

D’Andre Swift’s early injury forced the Lions to lean heavily on Jamaal Williams. Detroit’s depth, who has proven to be efficient in their limited touches, barely got any playing time. That said, Igwebuike made the most of his opportunities with an 11-yard run on his one rushing attempt. Jermar Jefferson, back from injury, played in just five snaps and did not see a target or touch.

Tight ends

T.J. Hockenson: 37 (76%)
Brock Wright: 15 (31%) — 6 (25%)

Nothing atypical from this group. They, again, chose not to go with the heavy set game plan that worked in Pittsburgh.

Wide receivers

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 48 (98%) — 3 (12%)
Josh Reynolds: 43 (88%)
Kalif Raymond: 39 (80%) — 4 (17%)
KhaDarel Hodge: 3 (6%) — 9 (38%)
Tom Kennedy: 2 (4%)

The Lions went with a lot of 11 personnel in this game, meaning three wideouts early and often. St. Brown missed just a single offensive snap, and did see a fair amount of time (15 of 48) on the outside this week. Meanwhile, Kalif Raymond slipped into the slot on 15 of his 39 snaps.

Offensive tackles

Taylor Decker: 49 (100%) — 2 (8%)
Penei Sewell: 49 (100%) —1 (4%)
Will Holden: 0 (0%) — 3 (12%)

Decker was back on special teams, indicating he’s close to full health with his finger again. Meanwhile, Penei Sewell was clearly dealing with an upper body injury that caused him to miss a couple of special teams snaps.

No sixth offensive tackle looks this week, as Will Holden was relegated to special teams only this week.

Guards/centers

Jonah Jackson: 49 (100%) — 3 (12%)
Evan Brown: 49 (100%) — 3 (12%)
Tommy Kraemer: 49 (100%) — 3 (12%)
Ryan McCollum: 0 (0%) — 3 (12%)
Parker Ehinger: 0 (0%) — 3 (12%)

In his first career start, Kraemer played in every snap at right guard. However, Kraemer may not be starting for long. Halapoulivaati Vaitai was seen going through warmups on Thursday, a good indication that he’s progressing quickly through the concussion protocol. With the extra few days before next week’s game, Vaitai could be good to go, giving Detroit four of its original five starters back.

Defense

EDGE:

Charles Harris: 62 (89%) — 5 (21%)
Austin Bryant: 56 (80%)
Julian Okwara: 38 (54%) — 12 (50%)
Jessie Lemonier: 2 (3%) — 5 (21%)

Jessie Lemonier saw his first action of the season, but mostly on special teams. Otherwise, it was more of the same as this unit is clearly missing the likes of Romeo Okwara and Trey Flowers. Charles Harris and Austin Bryant are the clear starters, with Julian Okwara coming off the bench.

It’s worth noting that the Lions often tried to use three edge defenders to generate a pass rush. Part of that is likely due to Da’Shawn Hand being placed on injured reserve. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to help Detroit's pass rush.

Defensive tackle

Nick Williams: 39 (56%)
Michael Brockers: 29 (41%)
Alim McNeill: 25 (36%)
Levi Onwuzurike: 23 (33%) — 5 (21%)
John Penisini: 17 (24%) — 5 (21%)

Snap counts between the defense interior were spilt pretty evenly this week. Michael Brockers, who was dealing with knee injury, saw a season-low 29 snaps, while rookies Alim McNeill and Levi Onwuzurike saw above-average playing time for them. But because the Lions went heavy on pass rushers, this entire unit saw a significant decrease in playing time.

Linebackers

Alex Anzalone: 70 (100%) — 5 (21%)
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 35 (50%) — 8 (33%)
Derrick Barnes: 19 (27%) — 4 (17%)
Josh Woods: 4 (6%) — 16 (67%)
Anthony Pittman: 0 (0%) — 21 (j88%)

Anzalone has missed a total of four snaps this entire season—all in the Rams game while he dealt with a temporary injury. Meanwhile, Reeves-Maybin suffered an injury in this game, leading to more playing time for rookie Derrick Barnes, who also missed a portion of the game due to a concussion evaluation.

With the Lions in nickel for nearly the entire game, Detroit utilized just two linebackers for almost the entire game.

Cornerbacks

Amani Oruwariye: 70 (100%)
Jerry Jacobs: 70 (100%) — 9 (38%)
Bobby Price: 0 (0%) — 9 (38%)
Mark Gilbert: 0 (0%) — 8 (33%)

The Lions’ two outside corners didn’t leave the field on Thursday, giving the Lions some rare stability in the secondary. But with AJ Parker on IR, the Lions had to utilize safety Will Harris in the slot. I’m keeping him in the safety section, though, to avoid confusion.

Safety

Tracy Walker: 70 (100%) — 8 (33%)
Dean Marlowe: 70 (100%) — 5 (21%)
Will Harris: 63 (90%) — 8 (33%)
C.J. Moore: 8 (11%) — 16 (67%)
Jalen Elliott: 0 (0%) — 16 (67%)

Dean Marlowe took over as full-time safety with Harris in the slot. C.J. Moore even managed to get some playing time late in the game, as the Lions struggled to find ways to slow Darnell Mooney, especially when the Bears receiver was in the slot.

Special teams

Jack Fox: 12 (50%)
Scott Daly: 9 (38%)
Riley Patterson: 3 (12%)

The Lions relied on Riley Patterson in this game, who made his NFL debut as Detroit’s fourth kicker of the season. Interestingly, Patterson only took part in extra points in this game (he had to kick one twice). Jack Fox had kickoff duties for the day.