Jets vs. Rams snap counts: Youth movement in full effect

David Welker

The St. Louis Rams leaned heavily on the team's younger players against the New York Jets this week. Did that decision cost them the game?

The NFL just released snap count data for this week's games to the media, and the numbers from the St. Louis Rams' lopsided home loss to the New York Jets this week offer more questions than they do answers.

Defensive Snaps

Let's start in the secondary where the Rams allowed a struggling Mark Sanchez to have the second best game of his career. Sanchez completed 75 percent of this passes, 15-for-20, for 178 yards and a touchdown. It was the second-highest completion percentage of his career, and it came against a Rams secondary that had once showed a knack for making quarterbacks and receivers struggle.

Cortland Finnegan played his usual complement of snaps, 100 percent of all 65 defensive snaps. Out of Fisher's doghouse, Janoris Jenkins slipped right back into his starting role, playing 57 snaps. Trumaine Johnson handled most of the third cornerback duties with 19 snaps, and the more experienced Bradley Fletcher saw just one snap.

Johnson gave up that touchdown pass from Sanchez to the much-heralded Chaz Schilens. Johnson played 50 of 66 snaps last week, with Fletcher getting a full 35 snaps.

The Rams spent most of their defensive snaps in the base formation, as opposed to a nickel or dime defense which you see so much against teams like the Patriots and Packers.

On the one hand, it's good to see the Rams coaches playing the rookies. Fletcher is a free agent after this season, and the team is very committed to Johnson as one of the team's core players in the secondary. Getting him playing time this year is a good thing. However, burying Fletcher, who is a better defensive back, in games the team desperately needs to win is confusing. In fact, the Rams seem adamant to move on without Fletcher as quickly as possible. There were very reputable trade rumors about Fletcher being moved in August.

The Jets ran the ball a total of 41 times. Interestingly enough, the snap counts were down slightly for Chris Long and Robert Quinn, who have struggled this season in sealing the outside running lanes. Those two got 48 and 44 snaps, respectively, with William Hayes (18) and Eugene Sims (20) getting some more work.

Offensive Snaps

Bradford and the offensive linemen were the only players on that side of the ball to play all 68 snaps, obviously.

At receiver, Danny Amendola took 56 snaps and Brandon Gibson had 51. Amendola caught 7-of-11 passes and Gibson 3-of-5 targets. Chris Givens played the third-most snaps of any receiver with 36; he was also the second-most targeted wideout, catching 4-of-7 balls thrown his way. Obviously, his role in the offense is increasing.

Brian Quick saw his snap count double this week, from seven in San Francisco to 14 this time around. He caught one of two targets, both coming in the first half of the game.

Lance Kendricks played 46 snaps, representing 68 percent. That's a change from last week when he played almost 80 percent of the offensive snaps. Matthew Mulligan played 24 snaps and Mike McNeill played 20. Corey Harkey, active in place of Brit Miller, played just one offensive snap.

At running back, Steven Jackson led the way with just 36 snaps. Daryl Richardson played 31 snaps, and Isaiah Pead had just one.

Offense

H Dahl G 68 100%
B Richardson T 68 100%
R Saffold T 68 100%
S Smith G 68 100%
S Bradford QB 68 100%
R Turner C 68 100%
D Amendola WR 56 82%
B Gibson WR 51 75%
L Kendricks TE 46 68%
C Givens WR 36 53%
S Jackson RB 36 53%
D Richardson RB 31 46%
M Mulligan TE 24 35%
A Pettis WR 24 35%
M McNeill TE 20 29%
B Quick WR 14 21%
C Harkey TE 1 1%
I Pead RB 1 1%

Defense

J Dunbar LB 65 100%
Q Mikell FS 65 100%
C Finnegan CB 65 100%
J Laurinaitis LB 65 100%
C Dahl SS 62 95%
J Jenkins CB 57 88%
M Brockers DT 55 85%
K Langford DT 53 82%
C Long DE 48 74%
R Quinn DE 44 68%
R McIntosh LB 39 60%
J Cudjo DT 29 45%
E Sims DE 20 31%
T Johnson CB 19 29%
W Hayes DE 18 28%
J Hull LB 5 8%
R McLeod FS 3 5%
M Haggan LB 2 3%
B Fletcher CB 1 2%

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