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Offensive and defensive snap counts, defensive changes in Cardinals vs. 49ers

A look back at the playing time.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals got the win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. But who got the playing time?

Let's look at the snap count numbers on both offense and defense, as well as some observations of defensive changes with personnel.


There were 67 offensive snaps, according to the league (61 plays).

Quarterback Drew Stanton and the starting offensive line were in on every snap.

RB: Andre Ellington 49, Stepfan Taylor 14, Robert Hughes 9, Jalen Parmele 1

Ellington was in a lot. It was his career high in snaps. Parmele got the one snap and did not do what he should have. As the short yardage back, he came in on a third and one situation and failed to get the first down.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald 62, Michael Floyd 61, John Brown 35, Ted Ginn 13, Jaron Brown 6

I always seem to miss Jaron Brown when he is in the game. I only remember the one snap when Stanton tried to connect with him down the field.

TE: John Carlson 51, Troy Niklas 27, Darren Fells 7

With no Rob Housler, Niklas got significantly more playing time.


Once again, safety Rashad Johnson and linebacker Larry Foote played every snap -- 64 in total.

DB: Rashad Johnson 64, Patrick Peterson 63, Jerraud Powers 53, Tony Jefferson 52, Deone Bucannon 43, Antonio Cromartie 41, Justin Bethel 24, Tyrann Mathieu 15

Peterson's only snap off the field was in big package -- five linemen, four linebackers and two DBs. The two jumbo DBs are Bucannon and Johnson. Mathieu got more plays and picked up six tackles in 15 snaps. He replaced Tony Jefferson on most of his snaps. While Bucannon played 43 snaps, all but one were played at the "dollar" linebacker spot.

LB: Larry Foote 64, Matt Shaughnessy 43, Sam Acho 26, Kevin Minter 19, Thomas Keiser 14

Keiser got significantly less time after an unimpactful 50 snaps against the Giants. Minter's time also went down, but that is because the Cardinals went more with Bucannon because of the formations the 49ers were using. The snaps don't show here, but rookie Kareem Martin was used at outside linebacker.

DL: Calais Campbell 62, Kareem Martin 38, Frostee Rucker 27, Tommy Kelly 27, Dan Williams 26, Ed Stinson 3

Alameda Ta'amu was the odd man out in Week 3, being left inactive.

Defensive changes observed:

I haven't gone back and looked at the All-22, but I did note some interesting defensive changes in terms of personnel.

  • Rookie Kareem Martin got his first extended playing time, but not at defensive end. It was coming in at outside linebacker in nickel and dime packages. I had wondered when they would call his number. Arians said he played very well, even though he had only one tackle and one hurry (noted by PFF). Since he only plays Calais Campbell's position on the defensive line, he won't get much playing time there. Coming in as an edge rusher is where he will have to make his impact this season. He got more playing time than Sam Acho or Thomas Keiser.
  • Dan Williams got more playing time and he had a different role. Really the only role he has played since he was drafted was as a base 3-4 nose tackle. He always gets subbed out in nickel and dime sets. On Sunday, he stayed in for passing downs as one of the two defensive linemen. We will have to see if he continues to get more work in that role.
  • Tyrann Mathieu got 15 snaps, as noted. In Week 2, he came in as a seventh DB. That happened a couple of times against the Niners, but it was not the only role he played. On Sunday, he subbed in for safety Tony Jefferson. The reason this is interesting is because it was Rashad Johnson that lost snaps to Mathieu a season ago. Mathieu has yet to see any playing time at nickel corner. That has been all Jerraud Powers so far.