The Arizona Cardinals had 70 offensive plays last Thursday night when they played and lost to the Seattle Seahawks. According to league stats, there were 75 snaps. As we do each week, I give you the snap count numbers on each side of the ball. First up is the offensive side. The formations and personnel groupings will come later. I still need to look back at the game again to confirm my charting from the press box.
Normally, the quarterback and everyone on the offensive line play all the snaps. Injuries changed that.
Carson Palmer, Bradley Sowell, Lyle Sendlein, Paul Fanaika and Eric Winston played all 75 snaps. Guard Daryn Colledge played 40 before coming out. Nate Potter replaced him. He played 42 snaps, which means he got 35 at left guard and then another seven as a tackle eligible (when I chart it, I list it as a tight end). It wasn't just in 13 personnel he showed up. I believe he was the second tight end a couple of times with Jim Dray.
At tight end, it was Jim Dray that technically was the starter. He was the numebr one tight end to start the game when the offense opened in 11 personnel, rather than Rob Housler. Housler ended up getting more snaps, though. Housler played 44 snaps, Dray 36 and Kory Sperry was in for one snap.
Looking at the receivers, Larry Fitzgerald got 72 snaps, Michael Floyd 71, Andre Roberts 47, Jaron Brown 18 and Patrick Peterson three.
Among the running backs, Andre Ellington got the most playing time with 31 snaps. Rashard Mendenhall was in for 24 and Alfonso Smith got 21. Stepfan Taylor did not see the field on offense.
Aside from the injury, there wasn't a lot to notice in playing time, except that Smith saw a lot more time. He was not used at all in the running game, but he caught four passes. He was clearly in the game for pass protection. There was one play I noticed that looked a little funny. You had to know that a pass was coming. Tight end Jim Dray was the player lined up in the backfield like a running back. Ideally, though, if Smith is going to get playing time, he should see a carry or two, if for anything else than to keep the defense honest. If he is on the field only when they pass, that grouping becomes obvious. Now, it may very well have been that he was on the field when it was third and long, so it wound up being that way.
As for Ellington, in 31 snaps, he carried the ball only three times and only had two catches. He was targeted five times. Clearly, he was not involved enough. Also, it likely means that Seattle made sure in their game plan to limit his effectiveness.