NFC IDP Snap Counts: Week Seven

Tom Kislingbury

This week in the NFL was absolutely absurd in the best possible way.

Here’s your weekly dose of which defensive players are on the up and down.

READ: AFC IDP Snap Counts: Week Seven

Arizona Cardinals – 84 snaps

Wow. What a game. It seemed the Cards were no longer a high-volume defense after their huge 2019 but in the last two weeks, they’ve played 173 snaps (87 average). For context, the Packers have played 376 snaps this season in six games (63 average).

Edge Haason Reddick (79) managed another sack and he’s been scoring well but bear in mind he has rushed the passer 72 times in two games. That is a huge amount. Devon Kennard (57) played opposite Reddick with Kylie Fitts (25) behind them.

At linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (84) leads the team in snaps with Jordan Hicks (66) not far behind. He missed time in this game with Tanner Vallejo (18) stepping in. Isaiah Simmons (5) had a big play – but remains a bit-part player.

Atlanta Falcons – 62 snaps

The Falcons were very stable this week. The biggest change was LB Mykal Walker (26) playing a bit more. This was likely personnel package related given that Deion Jones (53) and Foye Oluokun (63) were both still clearly ahead of him.

DE Takkarist McKinley (32) also returned from injury. He was as ineffective as we’ve come to expect.

Carolina Panthers – 70 snaps

The Panthers again were abysmal in generating pressure. Sacks are one thing (Drew Brees takes very few) but this team lacks pressure.

Brian Burns (60) is obviously the best rusher on the team and he had a big sack – but it was his only pressure of the game.

Shaq Thompson (70) continues to have a top season at LB.

With Justin Burris out, Sam Franklin (70) played every snap in the Panthers’ three-safety defense. Franklin is an LB on PFR, and some will tell you that Jeremy Chinn is a linebacker. Both are wrong. This defense plays three safeties on every snap – it’s just that they move around (as most safeties do).

Chicago Bears – 72 snaps

The Bears are a very stable defense as they have tended to be in recent years.

The only player to see ten more or more snaps than the previous week was tackle Bilal Nichols (44) – up 11 snaps from last week.

Dallas Cowboys – 69 snaps

The Cowboys are just about the worst team in football. They’re certainly among the worst defenses. Let’s focus on positives.

Leighton Vander Esch played 67 snaps at LB, Joe Thomas just three. Vander Esch is always going to be an injury worry but he’s very startable right now.

DE Randy Gregory (6) made his long-awaited return. Seeing Aldon Smith (42) and Gregory playing together is about as 2020 as you can get.

Rookie tackle Neville Gallimore (38) played the most he has in his young career. The Cowboys might as well try and develop some talent, right?

Detroit Lions – 75 snaps

Jamie Collins (70) continues to be the only LB worth owning. Jahlani Tavai (43), Jarrad Davis (20) and Reggie Ragland (37) are all part-time options.

Safety Jayron Kearse (31) played significant snaps for the second game in a row. Will Harris (6) has seen just seven snaps in this period.

Green Bay Packers – 68 snaps

Safety Darnell Savage missed this game so Will Redmond (68) played next to Adrian Amos (68). Raven Greene (34) also played plenty.

Edge Rashan Gary played 44 snaps (his most of the season) – just behind Preston Smith (49). Smith has been rough this year so watch this situation. Za’Darius Smith (50) of course is the top dog.

Linebackers Krys Barnes (27) and Ty Summers (18) shared snaps. Neither are good IDP starters right now. Remember the Packers are leading the NFL in single-LB snaps and experimenting with more zero-LB too. Teams in 2020 do NOT have to have startable IDP LBs.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are a stable, settled and very effective defense. Simply having Aaron Donald (56) means the team is a very good pass rush unit as teams scramble to account for him and leave holes.

It did help that Leonard Floyd (60) clearly was out for revenge against the Bears. He had a huge game. If only he could do this every week.

Taylor Rapp (63) also had a big game at safety. Notably he played well ahead of Terrell Burgess (12). Predicting this position has been tough this season.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings enjoyed their bye week.

New Orleans Saints – 46 snaps

The Saints played 71 snaps in their last game, so this probably felt like a big letdown.

Marcus Davenport (23) is still on limited snaps with trey Hendrickson (32) muddying the water. Davenport managed his first sack of the year but he needs to play more.

Zack Baun (13) played the most of his young career. Expecting him to come in and immediately play orthodox LB was always on the mad side of optimistic. But he does have a chance ahead of 2021.

New York Giants – 81 snaps

Worryingly Joe Judge is showing signs of week-to-week game plan adjustment. He’s certainly morphed this defense in recent weeks to become more even-front based.

The chief beneficiary is Leonard Williams (61) who has been spending time on the edge.

LB Devante Downs played 45 snaps this week. In his two “good” weeks he’s managed 100 snaps. In his other four games he’s played 31 snaps. So, hit and miss. Blake Martinez (80) remains the only LB you can start with confidence.

Philadelphia Eagles – 60 snaps

This defense has major problems – but they’re at least adapting.

Nate Gerry (55) remains the top LB, but the team are starting to at least give Alex Singleton (40) more snaps. He’s intriguing. Duke Riley (43) also played after missing the last game.

DT Malik Jackson missed this game. His partner Fletcher Cox (52) had a big game that reminded us of his glory days.

Seattle Seahawks – 84 snaps.

The Seahawks have now played six games and hit at least 71 defensive snaps in every one. And they average 79. This is a high-volume defense.

Bobby Wagner (84) is primed to be an utter superstar for the rest of the season at LB. KJ Wright (75) remains the number two option with Jordyn Brooks (38) developing behind him.

Safety Ryan Neal (78) had another big game. He’s been a fantastic IDP with Jamal Adams out. But his time is running out…

San Francisco 49ers – 52 snaps

The 49ers barely broke a sweat as they destroyed the Patriots. And amazingly they seemed to take the opportunity to rotate their roster. At Foxborough!

LBs Fred Warner (41) and Dre Greenlaw (40) sat out for time with Azeez Al-Shaair (30) on the field.

Dion Jordan played 33 snaps on the edge. Kerry Hyder was only needed for 29, and Arik Armstead 30.

CB Tarvarius Moore (52) returned after injury but was pressed into action at safety.

Famously Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt both missed the game. Marcell Harris (52) was the chief beneficiary alongside Moore.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 65 snaps

The Bucs remain the most reliable defense in the NFL. Vita Vea is out for the season, but the team traded for Steve McLendon (25) who played nose tackle in Vea’s absence.

Everything else remained amazingly consistent. This is a fantastic defense.

Washington Football Team – 56 snaps

There is a theory that poor teams play more defensive snaps. This theory is nonsense. Washington are a good example of this. They are undeniably bad but have averaged just 62 defensive snaps per game.

The top attraction is the young pair of DEs. Montez Sweat (38) and Chase Young (46) are undeniably exciting and can take over games. Ryan Kerrigan (16) and Ryan Anderson (13) are clearly reserves at this stage.

LB Jon Bostic (44) was ejected from the game after a particularly egregious hit. He may face a suspension. Kevin Pierre-Louis (38) and Cole Holcomb (39) are the obvious beneficiaries.

Superstar safety Landon Collins had a big game and recorded a safety – on just 17 snaps before he got hurt. Kamren Curl (39) covered for him next to free safety Deshazor Everett (56).

Thanks for reading and good luck with waivers.

tom kislingbury