Snap Count Analysis: How did Gurley and Anderson split playing time against the Cowboys?

 therams.com  1/14/2019 12:29:18 AM  2

The Rams defeated the Cowboys 30-22 on Saturday, advancing to the NFC Championship game for the first time since the 2001 season. L.A. used a punishing rushing attack to control the game, reaching a season-high 273 yards rushing.

Running backs Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson each had over 100 yards rushing in the contest, largely splitting time in the backfield. Here’s some analysis of the Rams snap counts on offense, defense, and special teams.

— Six players were on the field for each of Los Angeles’ 79 offensive snaps: left tackle Andrew Whitworth, left guard Rodger Saffold, center John Sullivan, right guard Austin Blythe, right tackle Rob Havenstein, and quarterback Jared Goff. The starting offensive line has been in tact to start each of Los Angeles’ 17 games so far in the 2018 season, and the group played as well as it has in any game on Saturday night.

— At running back, the snaps were fairly even — at least as even as they’ve been all year for L.A. at the position. Gurley started and played 45 snaps (57 percent), as Los Angeles got him re-acclimated to game speed. The Divisional round was Gurley’s first action since Week 15 against Philadelphia. Anderson played the remaining 34 snaps at running back (43 percent). Anderson actually took more carries than Gurley (23 to 16), despite being on the field for fewer snaps.

— Wide receiver Robert Woods led the way at his position with 77 snaps (97 percent). He also led the team with 69 yards receiving.

— At tight end, Tyler Higbee was on the field the most (55 snaps, 70 percent) and Gerald Everett rotated in (34 snaps, 43 percent). The Rams, however, did run ‘13’ personnel on a number of snaps, with Johnny Mundt raking six snaps.

— Three players were on the field for each of Los Angeles’ 58 defensive snaps: middle linebacker Cory Littleton, safety John Johnson, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

— Defensive tackles playing 100 percent of the time in a game is pretty rare, but it’s the third time Donald’s done it in the 2018 season. He previously played every snap in the team’s losses to New Orleans and Philadelphia.

— Four more players were on the field for at least 90 percent of the defensive snaps: safety Lamarcus Joyner (56 snaps, 97 percent), cornerback Marcus Peters (56 snaps, 97 percent), linebacker Mark Barron (55 snaps, 95 percent), and outside linebacker Dante Fowler (53 snaps, 91 percent).

— Cornerback Aqib Talib (46 snaps, 79 percent) had to exit the game to be evaluated for a concussion, but was able to re-enter the contest after passing the required tests. Cornerback Troy Hill played 10 snaps (17 percent) in Talib’s stead.

— Linebacker Bryce Hager, safety Marqui Christian, and safety Blake Countess played the most with 19 special teams snaps (73 percent).

— Punter Johnny Hekker didn’t have much work with his right leg, punting only once. But he still played nine snaps with his work as a holder.

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