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Los Angeles Rams snap count evaluation through three games shows evolution of team in 2019

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Here’s how the playing time has been handed out through three weeks and what it might mean.

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley runs during a Week 3 game against the Cleveland Browns, Sep. 22, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley runs during a Week 3 game against the Cleveland Browns, Sep. 22, 2019.
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

So, we’re three games into the Los Angeles Rams2019 regular season. Let’s take a look at the snap counts and what they might reveal.

Offense

2019 Los Angeles Rams regular season snap counts - offense

Player POS Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Averages Snap total
Player POS Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Averages Snap total
SNAPS 77 67 64 69.33 208
Andrew Whitworth T 77 67 64 69.33 208
Joseph Noteboom T 77 67 64 69.33 208
Rob Havenstein T 77 67 64 69.33 208
Jared Goff QB 77 67 64 69.33 208
Brian Allen C 77 67 64 69.33 208
Robert Woods WR 73 66 62 67 201
Cooper Kupp WR 69 63 63 65 195
Brandin Cooks WR 71 65 57 64.33 193
Todd Gurley RB 54 42 47 47.67 143
Gerald Everett TE 30 48 56 44.67 134
Austin Blythe G 77 27 0 34.67 104
Jamil Demby G 0 40 64 34.67 104
Tyler Higbee TE 40 23 0 21 63
Malcolm Brown RB 21 25 17 21 63
Josh Reynolds WR 25 3 16 14.67 44
Darrell Henderson RB 2 0 0 0.67 2
Johnny Mundt TE 0 0 2 0.67 2

One thing to note overall is that the offense has gotten less work in each successive game. The Rams had just 64 offensive snaps in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns, nearly a 17% reduction.

Not a ton to be gleamed from the offensive line or quarterback positions.

At wide receiver, not much to see here outside of a noticeable uptick in playing time for WR Josh Reynolds. He played a ton last year, but that was nearly all in the absence of WR Cooper Kupp. This year, the Rams are going with four receivers moreso than at any time under Head Coach Sean McVay.

The injury to TE Tyler Higbee in Week 2 skewed the tight end time over the last two weeks. Hopefully, he heals up over this week and can go on Sunday and we’ll get some more balanced opportunities to evaluate the relationship between he and TE Gerald Everett.

But obviously the most interesting thing to look into here is at running back.

Here’s a quick chart of the playing time balance between RB Todd Gurley, RB Malcolm Brown and RB Darrell Henderson, Jr.:

Now that chart looks very different than this one which looks at their carry totals and not snaps:

This of course leads to the question of how many snaps per carry each running back has gotten:

The real standout here is Brown’s Week 1 performance. While Henderson’s rate was similar, that’s because he had a single carry on two snaps. Brown had 11 carries on 21 snaps crossing that 50% rate falling under 20% in Week 3 with just three carries from 17 snaps.

Defense

2019 Los Angeles Rams regular season snap counts - defense

Player POS Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Averages Snap total
Player POS Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Averages Snap total
SNAPS 67 63 68 66 198
Cory Littleton LB 67 63 68 66 198
John Johnson SS 67 62 68 65.67 197
Marcus Peters CB 66 63 68 65.67 197
Aqib Talib CB 66 58 66 63.33 190
Aaron Donald DT 56 50 63 56.33 169
Dante Fowler DE 55 56 56 55.67 167
Eric Weddle FS 26 63 68 52.33 157
Michael Brockers DE 49 50 52 50.33 151
Nickell Robey CB 42 41 56 46.33 139
Clay Matthews LB 46 35 45 42 126
Taylor Rapp DB 32 40 52 41.33 124
Samson Ebukam LB 33 33 35 33.67 101
Sebastian Joseph NT 36 20 16 24 72
Bryce Hager LB 25 22 12 19.67 59
Morgan Fox DE 15 15 12 14 42
Marqui Christian FS 41 0 0 13.67 41
Tanzel Smart NT 14 12 9 11.67 35
Troy Hill CB 0 5 2 2.33 7
Greg Gaines DT 0 3 0 1 3
Natrez Patrick LB 0 2 0 0.67 2
Travin Howard LB 1 0 0 0.33 1

Let’s start up front:

The major tell here is the combination of DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, DE Morgan Fox and DT Tanzel Smart seeing their time decrease week after week. Combined, they played 97.01% of the snaps in Week 1, 75.60% in Week 2 and just 54.41% in Week 3.

So skipping the linebackers who have had, remarkably, consistent playing time save for a Week 3 decrease from ILB Bryce Hager, the intrigue in relation to the defensive line is at the safety spot because of a certain rookie:

While the two conventional safety slots have been at 100% with John Johnson III holding down one spot and Eric Weddle holding the other (backed up by Marqui Christian when Weddle went down in Week 1 with a concussion and a pretty nasty cut), the story here is rookie S Taylor Rapp earning more and more time in his overhang-type role and the fact those snaps are coming from the defensive line (the cornerbacks were largely similar save for a jump in Week 3 from slot CB Nickell Robey-Coleman though not as stark as the season-long jump for Rapp).

Of course the caveat here is that we’re looking at just three games. Is Rapp’s increase in playing time a function of gameplan? Was it just situational? The picture should get clearer in the weeks ahead.

Special Teams

2019 Los Angeles Rams regular season snap counts - special teams

Player POS Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Averages Snap total
Player POS Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Averages Snap total
SNAPS 33 27 24 28 84
Troy Hill CB 25 22 18 21.67 65
Nick Scott FS 26 21 17 21.33 64
Marqui Christian FS 18 22 19 19.67 59
Travin Howard LB 22 18 14 18 54
Natrez Patrick LB 18 18 12 16 48
Bryce Hager LB 19 15 13 15.67 47
Troy Reeder LB 17 15 12 14.67 44
Mike Thomas WR 16 16 9 13.67 41
Samson Ebukam LB 19 11 9 13 39
Taylor Rapp DB 16 15 5 12 36
Darious Williams CB 21 14 17.5 35
Greg Zuerlein K 14 11 10 11.67 35
Johnny Hekker P 11 9 7 9 27
Jake McQuaide LS 11 9 7 9 27
JoJo Natson WR 9 9 9 9 27
Cory Littleton LB 8 9 7 8 24
Malcolm Brown RB 9 8 4 7 21
Morgan Fox DE 8 6 5 6.33 19
Nickell Robey CB 7 6 5 6 18
Michael Brockers DE 5 4 9 6 18
Andrew Whitworth T 7 5 5 5.67 17
Joseph Noteboom T 7 5 5 5.67 17
Rob Havenstein T 7 5 5 5.67 17
Jamil Demby G 7 5 5 5.67 17
David Edwards T 7 5 5 5.67 17
Sebastian Joseph NT 6 4 4 4.67 14
Aaron Donald DT 6 3 5 4.67 14
Dante Fowler DE 6 3 5 4.67 14
Josh Reynolds WR 0 3 8 3.67 11
Tyler Higbee TE 8 2 0 3.33 10
John Johnson SS 4 5 0 3 9
Austin Blythe G 7 1 0 2.67 8
Johnny Mundt TE 0 0 6 2 6
Coleman Shelton C 0 0 5 1.67 5
Brian Allen C 0 4 0 1.33 4
Robert Woods WR 1 0 0.5 1
Brandin Cooks WR 1 0 0.5 1
Gerald Everett TE 0 1 0 0.33 1
Eric Weddle FS 0 1 0 0.33 1
Clay Matthews LB 0 1 0 0.33 1

Seven players top 50% of the teams snaps including three rookies. Always the best way for Day 3 picks to make the team.


The full spreadsheet is here if you wanna look at the numbers. What do you see from the snap counts, Rams fans? Any trends stand out? Anything you think is going to change moving forward? Is this the week rookie RB Darrell Henderson, Jr., makes his first major impact?