Lions Week 11 snap count observations: D’Andre Swift still seeing limited opportunities

Here is a closer look at the Detroit Lions’ snap counts from their Week 11 dominating victory over the New York Giants along with some thoughts on what it may mean going forward.

Offenses

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff: 67 (100% of offensive snaps)

Running backs

Jamaal Williams: 32 (48%)
Jason Cabinda: 28 (42%) — 12 special team snaps (46%)
Justin Jackson: 25 (37%) — 14 (54%)
D’Andre Swift: 21 (31%)

Williams led the way again, which isn’t overly surprising, but seeing Jackson out snap Swift probably wasn’t part of the game plan going into New York. Since returning from injury, Swift has struggled as a rusher, often not seeing the path in front of him and moving laterally too frequently. Against the Giants, Jackson was knifing through defenders while Swift is stringing out runs for loss. Now that Swift is healthier, maybe his practice reps will increase and correct some of his issues with vision, but until then, Jackson may continue to rep higher.

The Lions definitely wanted to run the ball and Cabinda was a big part of that. Don’t be surprised if this trend continues as the Lions look to control games on the ground.

Tight ends

Brock Wright: 50 (75%) — 9 (35%)
James Mitchell: 15 (22%) — 9 (35%)
Shane Zylstra: 12 (18%) — 4 (15%)

Despite the return of Cabinda, the tight end snaps remained pretty close to the same, save rookie Mitchell seeing his numbers increase over Zylstra. Look for this trend to also continue as the Lions load up the rookie’s opportunities as the season progresses.

Wide receivers

Amun-Ra St. Brown: 60 (90%) — 1 (4%)
Kalif Raymond: 57 (85%) — 5 (19%)
Tom Kennedy: 19 (28%) — 1 (4%)
DJ Chark: 11 (16%)
Stanley Berryhill: 3 (4%) — 11 (42%)

St. Brown is back to full health and is impacting the game in so many ways. As long as he maintains his health, he should lead this group in snaps for the remainder of the season. Kennedy saw his snaps decline with the return of Chark, who was basically just dipping his toes back in the re-acclimation waters in this game. Chark’s numbers should continue to rise at the expense of Mr. Reliable.

Offensive tackles

Taylor Decker: 67 (100%) — 4 (15%)
Penei Sewell: 67 (100%) — 5 (19%)

Both tackles moved around a bit in this game. Decker lined up at tight end outside Sewell’s right shoulder on Jamaal Williams’ third touchdown run. While Sewell lined up at wide receiver on a designed screen play.

Guards/centers

Frank Ragnow: 67 (100%)
Jonah Jackson: 67 (100%) — 5 (19%)
Dan Skipper: 54 (81%) — 5 (19%)
Evan Brown: 14 (21%) — 1 (4%)
Kayode Awosika: 1 (1%) — 5 (17%)
Logan Stenberg: 0 (0%) — 5 (19%)

After rolling with the same three interior linemen for the past several weeks, Brown’s injury forced the team to turn back to Skipper. As he has shown in his previous games, Skipper is much more effective as a run blocker than a pass blocker, but still figures to be the team’s best option if Brown is unable to play in the Lions next game.

With Skipper in at guard and Matt Nelson inactive, the Lions turned to Awosika on the one play they used a sixth offensive lineman—which also happened to be the Williams’ third touchdown play.

Defense

EDGE:

Aidan Hutchinson: 65 (86%) — 2 (8%)
John Cominsky: 57 (75%) — 2 (8%)
Julian Okwara: 32 (42%)
Austin Bryant: 28 (37%) — 2 (8%)

With no Josh Paschal nor Charles Harris, Cominsky got the start and Bryant was active for the first time in two weeks. Cominsky plays a key role—allowing Hutchinson to stay at rush end—and consistently finds ways to rack up pressures. But Bryant was not good in his return of him, getting caught flat-footed or overpursuing on multiple occasions. On a short week, Bryant could be called upon once again on Thanksgiving.

DT:

Isaiah Buggs: 49 (64%)
Alim McNeill: 47 (62%)
Benito Jones: 17 (22%) — 2 (8%)
Michael Brockers: 12 (16%)

Alim McNeill had a career game, registering 10 (!) pressures and a sack on his way to a 91.0 overall grade from PFF. Let’s hope he wakes up “ready to get on the scene” again on Thursday.

Buggs’ leadership is really starting to show through over the last several weeks and coach Dan Campbell is taking every opportunity to praise the Lions nose tackle. He continues to lead this group in snaps.

Brockers finally found the field after being a healthy scratch for the last several weeks. Like with Bryant, Brockers was called upon due to injuries, but he looked decent, despite not registering any numbers in the box score.

Linebackers

Alex Anzalone: ​​72 (95%)
Derrick Barnes: 36 (47%) — 14 (54%)
Malcolm Rodriguez: 28 (37%) — 5 (19%)
Chris Board: 11 (14%) — 20 (77%)
Anthony Pittman: 2 (3%) — 20 (77%)
Josh Woods: 0 (0%) — 21 (81%)

Rodriguez was healthy enough to return to action and started this game, but he is clearly still adjusting to the elbow injury and the team leaned on Barnes once again. Barnes continues to ascend at a very nice pace and the team has to be happy with his progress.

Cornerbacks

Will Harris: 74 (97%) — 13 (50%)
Jerry Jacobs: 54 (71%) — 5 (19%)
Amani Oruwariye: 44 (58%) — 6 (23%)
Mike Hughes: 36 (47%) — 4 (15%)
Jeff Okudah: 18 (24%)

Okudah going down with a concussion early forced the Lions to make several adjustments in the secondary. And with Campbell noting that Okudah was basically ruled out for Thanksgiving, we will likely see a combination of the four players above, with Harris being the only one who never leaves the field, contributing both inside and out.

Safety

Kerby Joseph: 75 (100%) — 9 (35%)
DeShon Elliott: 75 (100%)
CJ Moore: 3 (4%) — 21 (81%)
Ifeatu Melifonwu: 0 (0%) — 13 (50%)

The Lions didn’t use three safety sets in this game, but with corner thinning out, it could be an option against the Bills. Moore has been the recent third option, but Melifonwu was able to return to action this week and has the best skill set for the third safety role. Whether or not he is ready to contribute beyond special teams is still to be determined.

Special teams

Jack Fox: 15 (58%)
Scott Daly: 10 (38%)
Michael Badgley: 6 (23%)

Despite the windy conditions, the Lions’ kicking team was on point.

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