The Detroit Lions stand alone in first place in the NFC North after beating up on the Green Bay Packers in Week 4, winning their matchup 34-20, and improving their record to 3-1. The Lions rode the hot hand in their running back committee, but for the most part, Detroit executed the same approach they used against the Falcons.
Let’s take a look at how the Lions' snap counts from their Week 4 game against the Packers.
Jared Goff: 75 (100%)
Teddy Bridgewater: DNP
Nothing out of the ordinary here. Goff had enough energy to play every snap and throw a haymaker on the post-game interview set.
David Montgomery: 53 (71%)
Jahmyr Gibbs: 28 (37%) — 1 special teams snaps (3%)
Craig Reynolds: 1 (1%) — 20 (67%)
Jason Cabinda: RULED OUT
Zonovan Knight: INACTIVE
Welcome back David Montgomery, your thigh looks like it’s properly healed. Oh, and congratulations on getting your first career win over the Packers. What a difference running behind a great offensive line makes:
When a talented RB gets an OL pic.twitter.com/WDlYr9UtMg— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) September 29, 2023
The plan entering the game seemed to be to split reps between Montgomery and Gibbs, but when Montgomery started stacking productive plays, the Lions rode the hot hand—as they should, regardless of what your favorite fantasy expert says.
The Lions are holding true to their committee approach.
Sam LaPorta: 60 (80%) — 1 (3%)
Brock Wright: 44 (59%) — 16 (53%)
James Mitchell: 10 (13%) — 5 (17%)
Darrell Daniels: 5 (7%) — 27 (90%)
This entire group saw their snaps counts increase as the Lions rode the run game in the second half—43 rushes on the night. Daniels admirably filled in for Cabinda, producing on a heavy workload of special teams snaps and clearing the way as an H-back at the goal line.
Amon-Ra St. Brown: 66 (88%) — 1 (3%)
Josh Reynolds: 55 (73%)
Marvin Jones Jr.: 21 (28%)
Kalif Raymond: 17 (23%) — 6 (20%)
Antoine Green: 15 (20%) — 9 (30%)
This group saw a near identical distribution of snaps as it did last week, with St. Brown and Reynolds leading the way, and Raymond being the most impactful of the reserves, despite seeing fewer opportunities than Jones.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how things shift when Jameson Williams returns in two weeks, but until then, this distribution will probably repeat itself.
Taylor Decker: 75 (100%)
Jonah Jackson: 75 (100%) — 7 (23%)
Frank Ragnow: 75 (100%)
Graham Glasgow: 75 (100%) — 7 (23%)
Penei Sewell: 75 (100%) — 7 (23%)
Colby Sorsdal: 0 (0%) — 7 (23%)
Kayode Awosika: 0 (0%) — 7 (23%)
Connor Galvin: 0 (0%) — 7 (23%)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: Ruled OUT
The offensive line stayed intact throughout the game and was impressively impactful in clearing holes in the run game—43 team rushing attempts for 211 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Decker reportedly may have aggravated his injured ankle, according to Detroit News’ Justin Rogers, and that will be a situation to monitor this week. 10 days of rest before they play the Panthers, will surely help.
Aidan Hutchinson: 54 (95%)
Charles Harris: 38 (67%) — 2 (7%)
John Cominsky: 36 (63%)
Romeo Okwara: 8 (14%) — 2 (7%)
Hutchinson played on all but three defensive snaps, which is a near-insane workload considering his production—one and a half sacks, three quarterback hits, and eight pressures.
Harris and Cominsky continue to split starter reps on the opposite side as the Lions show off their defensive flexibility up front. Okwara’s snaps took a dip as a direct result of Hutchinson’s increase. Lots of NASCAR sets where three EDGE players find the field at the same time in obvious passing situations.
Alim McNeill: 34 (60%) — 2 (7%)
Benito Jones: 21 (37%) — 2 (7%)
Isaiah Buggs: 12 (21%)
Levi Onwuzurike: 10 (18%) — 2 (7%)
Brodric Martin: INACTIVE
The interior defensive line came pretty close to repeating its distribution from last week, as McNeill’s snaps stayed at exactly 60%, allowing him to be fresh and productive. Jones saw his snaps increase a tick, which directly resulted in Buggs dipping a touch, though this was likely situational.
Alex Anzalone: 57 (100%)
Derrick Barnes: 42 (74%) — 5 (17%)
Jack Campbell: 35 (61%) — 15 (50%)
Malcolm Rodriguez: 7 (12%) — 21 (70%)
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 2 (4%) — 23 (77%)
Anthony Pittman: 0 (0%) — 22 (73%)
Like with the rest of the front-seven, the linebacker distribution was a near repeat of last week, with Rodriguez being the only player seeing a reduction in snaps. Again, this was likely situational (replacing him with an extra defensive back), as the Packers were in pass mode for the majority of the second half.
Campbell continues to get looks at SAM, but it will be interesting to see if that continues, as Julian Okwara is eligible to return from injured reserve this week (if healthy). So far, he looks like he has earned the chance to keep getting those opportunities.
Cam Sutton: 57 (100%)
Jerry Jacobs: 57 (100%)
Brian Branch: 40 (70%) — 2 (7%)
Will Harris: 14 (25%) — 20 (67%)
Chase Lucas: 0 (0%) —21 (70%)
Steven Gilmore: 0 (0%) —1 (3%)
Emmanuel Moseley: Ruled OUT
Sutton and Jacobs once again held down the outside corner spots for the entire game, while Branch was on his way to playing every snap again before injuring his ankle. He was able to return briefly, but unfortunately exited again late in the game. The X-rays reportedly came back negative—showing no broken bones—but he may still need time to heal from a soft tissue injury.
With Branch out, Harris stepped into the nickel role and picked up his snaps. Lucas also briefly left the game (with an illness) and ceded one special teams snap to the rookie Gilmore.
Tracy Walker: 57 (100%) — 9 (30%)
Ifeatu Melifonwu: 46 (81%) — 9 (30%)
Brandon Joseph: 0 (0%) — 8 (27%)
Kerby Joseph: Ruled OUT
One of the shifts we saw in the secondary snap distribution last week was a deliberate effort to keep Branch on the field and asking Melifonwu to give up some of his snaps. That happened again this week. If Kerby Joseph is able to return next game, it’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues, and which safety gives up reps to Branch.
Jack Fox: 18 (60%)
Scott Daly: 11 (37%)
Riley Patterson: 7 (23%)
With the Lions scoring more points this week, the special teamers got a little extra work putting points on the board and kicking off.