clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Detroit Lions Week 2 snap count observations: Derrick Barnes sits despite shaky LB play

The Lions’ rookie linebacker wasn’t given an opportunity to shine on MNF, even though the starters struggled.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s take a closer look at the Detroit Lions’ Week 2 snap count in their 34-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Offense

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff: 57 (100%)

Despite the game getting out of hand again, the Lions kept Goff in until the bitter end.

Running backs

D’Andre Swift: 36 (63%)
Jamaal Williams: 22 (39%)
Jason Cabinda: 6 (11%) — 12 special teams snaps (52%)
Godwin Igwebuike: 0 (0%) — 15 (65%)

Not many changes to the running back snap distribution. Again, the game got out of hand, forcing Detroit to go to Swift more often than not. However, it should be noted that his high snap count should be considered promising given his lingering groin injury.

Also of note: Igwebuike continued to hold onto the kick return job, despite his Week 1 struggles. That could potentially change once newly-added cornerback Corey Ballentine gets settled in enough to make it to the gameday roster.

Tight ends

T.J. Hockenson: 53 (93%)
Darren Fells: 19 (33%) — 3 (13%)

Hockenson got an even bigger chunk of playing time this week, missing just four offensive snaps. Interestingly enough, the Lions aren’t relying as much on Fells’ blocking as I assumed they would. Of course, that, too, may have simply been a result of not running the ball as much as they’d like to.

Wide receivers

Quintez Cephus: 51 (89%)
Kalif Raymond: 36 (63%) — 3 (13%)
Amon-Ra St. Brown: 34 (60%) — 6 (26%)
Trinity Benson: 24 (42%)
Tom Kennedy: 4 (7%)
KhaDarel Hodge: 0 (0%) — 14 (61%)

Consider me mildly surprised that Cephus led the way here. Detroit seemed enamored by Trinity Benson, but the newly-added receiver actually saw his play percentage drop this week, despite the injury to Tyrell Williams. Cephus made the most of his opportunities early, but his production dropped off a cliff in the second half.

I’m also a bit puzzled by this team’s usage of Amon-Ra St. Brown. He’s quite possibly the Lions’ best healthy receiver right now, but he’s played around just 60 percent of snaps in both games thus far.

Offensive tackles

Matt Nelson: 57 (100%) — 3 (13%)
Penei Sewell: 57 (100%) — 3 (13%)
Will Holden: 0 (0%) — 3 (13%)

Guards/centers

Frank Ragnow: 57 (100%)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 57 (100%) — 3 (13%)
Jonah Jackson: 57 (100%) — 3 (13%)
Logan Stenberg: 0 (0%) — 3 (13%)
Evan Brown: 0 (0%) — 3 (13%)

The only curious thing here is that Ragnow was taken off special teams. Perhaps that was simply due to having an extra tackle available in Will Holden, but you never know. Oftentimes players are taken off special teams if they’re dealing with a nagging injury. We’ll have to wait and see there.

Defense

EDGE:

Romeo Okwara: 63 (97%) — 6 (26%)
Trey Flowers: 42 (65%)
Charles Harris: 26 (40%) — 11 (48%)
Julian Okwara: 4 (6%) — 7 (30%)

The Lions subbed Julian Okwara for Austin Bryant this week, but Okwara received the same treatment as Bryant: he barely played at all.

That being said, there was a much higher rotation on the right side of the line. Charles Harris significantly ate into Trey Flowers’ snaps, which could be a sign that Flowers’ shoulder injury could be bothering him. That being said, the Lions’ lack of rotation was not planned last week, according to defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. Perhaps this was more of the split snaps they were hoping for. But it’s clear they like Romeo a lot.

Defensive tackle

Michael Brockers: 54 (83%)
Nick Williams: 40 (62%)
Alim McNeill: 26 (40%) — 5 (22%)
John Penisini: 19 (29%) — 5 (22%)
Levi Onwuzurike: 10 (15%) — 5 (22%)

With Kevin Strong out and Brockers finally settling in, the veteran defensive tackle saw a huge chunk of playing time this week. Unfortunately, that meant that rookie Levi Onwuzurike just barely saw the field in his NFL debut.

Linebackers

Alex Anzalone: 65 (100%) — 5 (22%)
Jamie Collins: 63 (97%)
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 3 (5%) — 15 (65%)
Anthony Pittman: 0 (0%) — 19 (83%)
Derrick Barnes: 0 (0%) — 10 (43%)

Despite struggles all night, the Lions refused to take their starting linebackers off the field. Together, Anzalone and Collins missed a total of two defensive snaps in the game. Anzalone has not missed a single defensive snap in two games. They also brought in Reeves-Maybin for a couple of short-lived 4-3 looks.

But for those hoping the Derrick Barnes show would start, the Lions essentially shelved him on Monday night. That being said, head coach Dan Campbell noted that the team is considering playing him soon.

“Barnes has been on our mind, because he showed in preseason that he will run and hit,” Campbell said after Monday’s game. “So, yeah, we’re going to be looking at everything.”

Cornerbacks

Amani Oruwariye: 65 (100%) — 5 (22%)
AJ Parker: 40 (62%) — 2 (9%)
Bobby Price: 32 (49%) — 14 (61%)
Ifeatu Melifonwu: 30 (46%)
Jerry Jacobs: 3 (5%) — 9 (39%)

Well, we learned that the Lions’ depth chart is four cornerbacks deep. With no Jeff Okudah, and Ifeatu Melifonwu suffering a mid-game injury, it was converted safety Bobby Price who stepped into the game ahead of undrafted rookie Jerry Jacobs.

It’s a dire situation for the Lions, but they do have some potential reinforcements. The aforementioned Ballentine could be active next week after the Lions claimed him a few days ago. Detroit also has veteran cornerback Daryl Worley on the practice squad. But don’t be surprised to see the Lions dip into the free agency pool again this week.

Safety

Will Harris: 65 (100%) — 9 (39%)
Tracy Walker: 65 (100%) — 9 (39%)
C.J. Moore: 0 (0%) — 15 (65%)
Dean Marlowe: 0 (0%) — 8 (35%)

The Lions kept their starters in the entire game and stayed in a two-high shell for almost the entirety of the game. That left little need for any three safety looks, as Moore and Marlowe were relegated to just special team roles on Monday—though that wasn’t much different from Week 1, either.

Special teams

Austin Seibert: 7 (30%)
Scott Daly: 5 (22%)
Jack Fox: 5 (22%)

Special teamers matter, too.