Packers Snap Counts: Heavy use of defensive tackles doesn’t help vs. run

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              Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard rushes for a touchdown during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
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By the looks of things, Green Bay tried to big to stop Philadelphia’s run game. It didn’t work.

The Eagles gained 176 yards on the ground on 33 carries, a 5.3 yard average. Philadelphia’s two main rushers, Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, had 159 yards on 26 carries – a 6.1 yard average.

This occurred despite heavy usage of defensive tackle Kenny Clark and defensive end Dean Lowry, the latter of whom is a run-stuffer at nearly 300 pounds.

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Clark was on the field for all but two defensive snaps. His 97% participation rate was the highest in any game of his career. Clark has had 90%+ of the defensive snaps in just five other games, all of which were in 2018 — at Minnesota, vs. Arizona, at Detroit, at Washington and vs. San Francisco. The Packers were 1-4 in those games with the only win coming in the lowest of those percentages, 91.2% against the 49ers.

Lowry played 57 snaps, or 87%. His previous high this year was 66.2% in Week 2 against Minnesota.  Lowry had previous games in which he appeared in 87%+ of the defensive snaps and, like Clark, they all were last year — vs. Arizona, at Chicago, vs. Detroit and at New York Jets. Also, like Clark, the Packers did not fare well in those games, going 1-3, with the lone win coming in the game in which he appeared in the last amount of snaps (Jets, 86.7%).

Clark finished with five tackles, with two solo stops. Only two of those were in the second half. On the good news side, each were stops on runs none of which gained more than four yards.

All of Lowry’s four stops (two solo) were on rushes of four or fewer yards, but he had no tackles in the second half.

It’s clear the Packers are struggling against the run this year. Clark and Lowry need to step up their production – or get a lot more help up front.

Other notes from Thursday’s snap counts:

— With Davante Adams (57 snaps, 70%) injured, it opened the door Darrius Shepherd (two career snaps entering Thursday) and Allen Lazard (seven career snaps) to get more of an opportunity. Both had career highs in offensive snaps – Shepherd 15 (19%) and Lazard 14 (17%) – but neither was ever targeted by Aaron Rodgers.

— Due largely to Jamaal Williams being hurt on the Green Bay’s first play, Aaron Jones played a season-high 68 snaps (84.0%). He had 19 touches – 13 carries and six receptions.

— Fullback Danny Vitale played in a season-high 20 snaps (24.7%), however he actually appeared in a higher percentage of snaps in Week 3 vs. Denver (33.3%). Vitale had one carry and two receptions.

— As usual, four Packers defensive players appeared in every snap: safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, cornerback Jaire Alexander and linebacker Blake Martinez, the latter of whom had a team-high 15 tackles (10 solo).

— Filling in for an injured Bryan Bulaga, Alex Light played 51 offensive snaps (63%). He had not played on offense in the first three games and appeared in just 23 snaps in 2018.

— DE/OLB Za’Darius Smith showed up Wednesday on the injury report as questionable with a knee injury. He appeared in 47 snaps (75.8%) and had no stats (tackles, quarterback hits, passes defensed, turnovers). His previous low on the season in snaps was 80.8% in Week 3.

OFFENSE

PLAYER Plays (81) %
Bakhtiari 81 100%
Linsley 81 100%
Turner 81 100%
Jenkins 81 100%
Rodgers 81 100%
Valdes-Scantling 70 86%
Jones 68 84%
Allison 64 79%
Graham 57 70%
Adams 57 70%
Light 51 63%
Bulaga 30 37%
Vitale 20 25%
Tonyan 19 23%
Lewis 18 22%
Shepherd 15 19%
Lazard 14 17%
Patrick 2 2%
Williams 1 1%

DEFENSE

PLAYER Plays (62) %
Amos 62 100%
Savage 62 100%
Martinez 62 100%
Alexander 62 100%
Clark 60 97%
King 55 89%
Lowry 54 87%
P. Smith 52 84%
Williams 48 77%
Z, Smith 47 76%
Lancaster 30 48%
Redmond 26 42%
Gary 18 29%
Fackrell 13 21%
Jackson 10 16%
Goodson 7 11%
Keke 7 11%
Sullivan 5 8%
F. Brown 2 3%