The running game evaporated, so I'm not taking a ton out of the fact that Benny Cunningham played one more snap than Zac Stacy, the supposed workhorse back. Bear in mind that Cunningham only ran the ball five times, three of which came in succession to open the Rams' first drive of the second quarter. Both ran at about the same rate --- Stacy at 3.91 yards per carry, Cunningham at 4.20. So if anything else, I'm more concerned that the Rams stopped giving them the ball than their work rate comparison.
At wideout, there was plenty weirdness going on thanks largely to the quarterback play. Kenny Britt played more than 3/5 of all offensive snaps but didn't get targeted once in the 36 passes. Chris Givens didn't even see a third of the snaps. Austin Pettis played the least. The Rams didn't line up in many pass-heavy formations, instead opting for more balanced or even run heavy looks (see: both TEs topped 70% of the snaps). Take from that what you will...
On the offensive line, the only story (aside from how poorly they played) was Greg Robinson. Sidelined, GRob only came in to spell Rodger Saffold after a neck injury ended his day. More to come on this front.
The Rams rotated the interior of their defensive line almost completely equally with Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford and Aaron Donald all getting nearly exactly the same amount of work. Ends were a different story, although you have to wonder how this chart would look had Chris Long finished the game. Alex Carrington was the surprise play here, though unsurprisingly he didn't show up on the stat sheet. If Long has to miss more time, you wonder if Ethan Westbrooks might not get a nod moving forward...or at least show up here.
Nothing unexpected from the linebacking unit. The key here is to watch how often the Rams go to a three-LB look moving forward. It's entirely dependent on how much they want to bear down on the run. Yesterday, they obviously wanted to contain Adrian Peterson and actually did a very good job of it. I'll be watching that Jo-Lonn Dunbar line each week to see how the Rams ease his work rate to add a defensive back to play the pass moving forward.
For the secondary's part, I was surprised at how much work E.J. Gaines got...and impressed with his play. I expected him to cycle through with some of the depth, but he earned that time. Lamarcus Joyner spelled Dunbar for about a third of the defensive work. I'm interested to see how this works when Trumaine Johnson gets back. Also interesting of note that T.J. McDonald and Rodney McLeod were in on every snap.
Overall, the special teams units were a mixed bag. Greg Zuerlein missed that 50-yarder early, but finished two of three hitting from 56 & 46. He'll be fine. Johnny Hekker of course looked solid too, perhaps opening his second Pro Bowl campaign. Coverage wasn't really an issue either as Cordarrelle Patterson, explosive as he is, didn't do much in the return game, and the Rams suffocated punt returns.
The problem here was that they got nothing when they were receiving the ball...which was often. Chris Givens only managed the one kick return, coming up just short of the 20 out of the end zone. Tavon Austin added 19 yards on his best punt return of the day, and seemingly bobbled every other one. The rules have made it very difficult to get yardage from special teams compared to years past, but the offense is likely going to need all the help it can get.
Anything stand out to you from the snap counts? Did the personnel rotation meet your expectations? What changes would you like to see?