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Lions-Packers snap count observations: Secondary shines, overcomes in-game injuries

Taking a closer look at the Detroit Lions snap counts from their Week 9 victory over the Green bay Packers.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a closer look at the Detroit Lions’ snap counts from their Week 9 victory over the Green Bay Packers, along with some thoughts on what it may mean going forward.



Jared Goff: 62 (100% of offensive snaps)

Running backs

Jamaal Williams: 38 (61%)
Justin Jackson: 13 (21%) — 7 special teams snaps (54%)
D’Andre Swift: 10 (16%)
Craig Reynolds: 1 (2%) — 2 (15%)

The Lions coaches have been preaching caution with Swift, and reports early Sunday morning gave an indication he was headed toward a light day, but five touches on 10 snaps was underwhelming, even with the warning signs. Now, he did turn those five touches into 50 yards, which speaks to how explosive he still is, while the 15 total points scored by the Lions offense show how badly they need him back healthy.

Williams continues to carry the load and through eight games, he “is the 5th player in franchise history to produce 600 scrimmage yards & 50 points scored” per the Lions PR department.

Reynolds was injured early in the game and Jackson’s snaps increased as a result. With the Lions not not wanting to overload Williams too much, how they distribute the remaining snaps next week will likely come down to the health of Swift and Reynolds.

Tight ends

Brock Wright: 50 (81%) — 5 (38%)
Shane Zylstra: 16 (26%) — 5 (38%)
James Mitchell: 13 (21%) — 5 (38%)

As expected, Wright saw his snaps increase to start levels, while the reserves saw between 20-30%. Wright’s production was a bit underwhelming—a theme on offense—but both Zylstra and Mitchell caught the Lions touchdown passes in this game.

Of note, Zylstra was elevated for this game, so he has already reverted back to the Lions practice squad. It stands to reason that he could be elevated again this upcoming week, but the healthy of Jason Cabinda—who is now in the 21-day evaluation window—could come in to play here.

Wide receivers

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 60 (97%)
Kalif Raymond: 59 (95%) — 1 (8%)
Tom Kennedy: 41 (66%) — 2 (15%)
Stanley Berryhill: 1 (2%) — 7 (54%)
Brandon Zylstra: 0 (0%) — 5 (38%)

St. Brown and Raymond have registered over 90% of offensive snaps the last two weeks, and with injuries still beating up the position group, expect those numbers to carry over next week as well.

Kennedy went from zero snaps last week to two-thirds of offensive snaps this week. While he only had one catch for 16 yards, he drew a critical holding call that kept the go-ahead drive alive.

Berryhill and Zylstra were added to the roster for their special teams skills.

Offensive tackles

Taylor Decker: 62 (100%)
Penei Sewell: 62 (100%) — 2 (15%)
Dan Skipper: 8 (13%) — 2 (15%)

The Lions reintroduced the sixth offensive lineman package with a minor wrinkle. Instead of simply lining up Skipper as a static blocker—where he struggled—this week they lined him up all over the field and put him in motion, which seemed to help the efficiency of the role.


Frank Ragnow: 62 (100%)
Jonah Jackson: 62 (100%) — 2 (15%)
Evan Brown: 62 (100%) — 2 (15%)
Logan Stenberg: 0 (0%) — 2 (15%)
Kayode Awosika: 0 (0%) — 2 (15%)

This section hasn’t changed in several weeks now, which is nice to see.



Aidan Hutchinson: 65 (88%) — 1 (8%)
Josh Paschal: 60 (81%)
John Cominsky: 30 (41%) — 1 (8%)
Julian Okwara: 26 (35%)
Charles Harris: 10 (14%) — 1 (8%)

Harris was finally healthy enough to return to the field but saw very limited playing time. His 10 snaps closely reflect the snap count we had seen from the EDGE 5 role—typically held by Austin Bryant, who was a healthy scratch—but they also could be related to his re-acclimation back to game action.

Hutchinson’s snaps remain consistent in the 80-90% range, while Paschal saw his snaps dip a bit in favor of Cominsky, who is getting healthier. Okwara’s snaps have been pretty consistent for the last several weeks and he has settled into a pass rushing specialist role.


Isaiah Buggs: 59 (80%)
Alim McNeill: 52 (70%)
Benito Jones: 22 (30%) — 1 (8%)

Buggs and McNeill continue to snap at a ridiculously high rate, but with Brockers a weekly healthy scratch and Levi Onwuzurike done for the year, this is what they have to work with. The Lions’ strategy of removing their defensive tackles in favor of their big defensive ends on third downs and obvious passing situations is what is helping them survive with the low numbers from their interior defenders.


Alex Anzalone: 70 (95%) — 1 (8%)
Derrick Barnes: 50 (68%) — 4 (31%)
Malcolm Rodriguez: 19 (26%) — 3 (23%)
Chris Board: 4 (5%) — 11 (85%)
Anthony Pittman: 0 (0%) — 11 (85%)
Josh Woods: 0 (0%) — 10 (77%)

Rodriguez was injured early in this game, and while he initially returned to the game, he spent most of the second half sidelined. He was wearing a support for his arm, but it’s hard to know the severity of the injury at this point.

Replacing Rodriguez was Barnes, and he had a career day. Tackling, run support, coverage, pass rush, Barnes did it all. His goalline stop was a turning point in the game and he also secured his first sack on the season. Get this kid some more experience because the talent is there.

Board only played on four snaps and he showed excellent coverage on all of them. PFF gave him an incredible 94.8 coverage grade for those snaps.

Pittman’s downing of a Jack Fox punt at the 1-yard line was one of the best special teams plays on the season.


Jeff Okudah: 62 (84%)
Will Harris: 56 (76%) — 3 (23%)
Jerry Jacobs: 45 (61%) — 7 (54%)
Mike Hughes: 39 (53%)
Amani Oruwariye: 1 (1%) — 2 (15%)

What a day for the Lions secondary. Less than a week after the firing their position coach Aubrey Pleasant, this group switched things up, overcame in-game injuries, produced on the field.

Okudah started on the outside, with Hughes opposite him and Harris in the slot. It wasn’t long before Jacobs was called up and his play was impressive enough that coaches kept him out there for the majority of the second half. When the game was on the line, Rodgers tested the second year UDFA and Jacobs came through.

Harris was PFF’s lowest graded Lions defender, but he made multiple plays when it mattered, including a touchdown saving tackle that set up a goal line stand, as well as a pass break up on a critical fourth down play. I walked away impressed with his day.


DeShon Elliott: 74 (100%)
Kerby Joseph: 47 (64%) — 3 (23%)
C.J. Moore: 23 (31%) — 11 (85%)
JuJu Hughes: 0 (0%) — 7 (54%)

Joseph has a career day, picking off Rodgers twice and is now PFF’s second highest graded safety in the NFL.

He took some friendly fire from Okudah on a tackle—a very scary moment—and is currently in the league’s concussion protocol. However, you would have been hard pressed to find a more joyful person in the locker room post game, as he was dancing and celebrating with teammates in celebration. League rules prevent the media from being able to talk to Joseph while in concussion protocol, but’s fair to say he appears to have avoided serious injury.

When Joseph went down, it was C.J. Moore who replaced him and he was very solid roaming center field. Moore has the speed to be a reserve at the position, which could be a huge help with depth moving forward.

Special teams

Jack Fox: 8 (62%)
Scott Daly: 5 (38%)
Michael Badgley: 2 (15%)

Badgley missed his first extra point attempt on the day but got hit on the kick, setting up the Lions two-point conversion. He converted his second attempt after the Lions second touchdown.

Fox’s punt that was downed by Pittman at the 1-yard line was a thing of beauty.

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