Looking at this week's snap counts for the St. Louis Rams won't reveal anything that will shock or surprise you. The offense spent the majority of its time in the 11 personnel grouping (3 receivers, 1 tight end and 1 running back). But they mixed in some 21 and other groupings.
Let's dive into the numbers.
Jared Cook is the most important player on offense.
That may not be the case every week, especially when the Rams start running into teams with better safeties and coverage linebackers. On Sunday, Cook played 61 out of 67 total offensive snaps, more than any other tight end, running back or receiver.
Lance Kendricks played 33 snaps.
Pettis still No. 1, "secret" plans and the receivers
I'm surprised but not surprised that Austin Pettis and Chris Givens are the Rams' top two receivers. Both played 55 total snaps, the most among the receivers. Givens' place in the offense is understandable, though he was targeted just three times and caught two balls. Pettis is starting by default, and I'm not sure what the coaches are seeing in Brian Quick (19 snaps) that's keeping his playing time limited. Pettis was targeted six times, caught three passes for 16 yards. Quick caught one of two passes for 16 yards.
Tavon Austin played 41 snaps, lining up at all three receiver spots. Brian Schottenheimer must have left his secret plans for Austin in his desk at Rams Park. Of course, Austin made the most of the six catches on seven targets he had, totaling 41 yards. We'll have more on Schottenheimer and Austin to come.
Remember when Jeff Fisher said that Daryl Richardson would still be splitting carries, despite being the No. 1 back? Maybe next week. Richardson played 59 snaps and carried the ball 20 times. Zac Stacy was the only other back to work with the offense, playing seven snaps and carrying the ball once for four yards.
Last year, there was a core group of defensive players that saw almost every snap in every game. It's the same this year, and it's really not a surprise when you consider who it is.
T.J. McDonald, Rodney McLeod, James Laurinaitis, and Cortland Finnegan played all 71 defensive snaps. Janoris Jenkins played 70. That's the way it will be most, if not all, of the season. Jenkins had three passes defensed and one forced fumble. Once the Rams abandoned the idea of giving Larry Fitzgerald what seemed like an 80-yard cushion, Jenkins had a great game in coverage.
Nickel D & Linebacker switches
Alec Ogletree came close to his billing as a three-down linebacker. He played 66 snaps. He led the team with seven tackles, but as Nick Wagoner at ESPN said, it was really a quiet day for the rookie. Witherspoon played 19 snaps.
Trumaine Johnson finished the game with 53 snaps, an indicator of just how much the Rams were in the nickel. Understandably so, the Cardinals didn't pack much threat in the run game, and the defensive line was more than capable of bottling that up.
Matt Giordano played four snaps when the Rams used their dime package.
Another theme carried over from last year was a heavy rotation of players on the defensive line. Chris Long had 64 snaps, Robert Quinn 52, Kendall Langford 46, Michael Brockers 43, Eugene Sims 34, Will Hayes 22, Jermelle Cudjo 14 and Matt Conrath had 10.
That group was a force against what little run the Cardinals had. They combined for six tackles for a loss, three from Hayes. Arizona managed just 3.3 yards per carry on 26 rushing attempts