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Snap Chat: Thoughts About the Giants Week 3 Snap Counts

Here are a few random thoughts regarding the Giants' Week 3 snap counts.

If Giants' head coach Joe Judge and his staff were looking for some fresh teaching tape this week, the team's abysmal performance against the 49ers is it.

The Giants were terrible in every phase of the ball, and some of the personnel decisions and accompanying snap counts are head-scratchers. Let's look at a few in this week's "snap chat" analysis.

** Why do the Giants bother carrying a fullback on their team every year if they’re not going to use him on offense? Considering the struggles to run the ball these three weeks, would it hurt to give Eli Penny more than just a couple of snaps per game to serve as the lead blocker?

** Matt Peart only got a couple of snaps in this one in relief of Andre Thomas. Still, there was much to like from that small sample size that came about when Andrew Thomas had to temporarily exit the game after suffering what looked like a lower leg injury. 

Peart has great size, seems plenty big enough to handle power, and adjusted to a stunt without a problem. He played actively and alertly and disciplined, and how about that final snap he took in which he displayed a vicious streak in dominating his man? 

I’ve said this before and will say it again. I believe Cam Fleming is keeping the seat warm for Peart until he's ready. I always thought the coaches were squeamish about starting two rookies at tackle. Still, the more Peart develops and moves away from that "rookie" status, the more likely I could see him being inserted into the lineup sooner than later.

** This probably comes as little surprise, but the Corey Ballentine experiment at starting cornerback appears to be over after he didn’t get a single snap on defense. 

And not to pile on the young man, but what happened to him as a kickoff returner? When your kickoff returner's average falls short of the desired 25-yard mark (which is where the ball would be spotted if you took a touchback), then you know you have a problem. 

The coverage wasn't as sharp as usual, but in watching some of Ballentine's returns, neither was his vision or decision making.

** I’m still not sure I understand why Kyler Fackrell is logging more snaps than Markus Golden. Granted, Golden has had a slow start to his 2020 season, but how much of that is him needing to get into a groove with his pass rush, a groove that he won’t get if his snaps are limited.

Crazy thought of the day: If Cam Brown, who has been a consistent contributor on special teams, keeps developing as an edge rusher, might the Giants be in position next month to swing a trade involving Markus Golden to recoup one of the draft picks (a fifth and a seventh) they don't have in 2021?

I know the idea sounds crazy given Golden's potential for production, but if this coaching staff is going to play Lorenzo Carter, Fackrell, and Oshane Ximines on more snaps, doesn't it make sense to try to move Golden, who's on a one-year, low-cost deal, for a draft pick?

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** For a guy who received 71% of the snaps on defense, I don’t recall Devante Downs making a single notable play out there, nor do I remember any of his four tackles (one solo, three assists) standing out despite his being around the ball more. 

Actually, I take that back. Downs was one of two defenders who went for the strip of the ball against Ross Dwelley only to end up flopping to the ground on a missed tackle attempt as the 49ers kept a scoring drive alive. That was a memorable play, but for the wrong reasons.

** The Giants running back snaps were about what I expected for this week, but moving forward, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wayne Gallman’s snaps decrease or become non-existent as DEvonta Freeman gets up to speed. 

Gallman is a frustrating player. In the preseason, he runs with power and decisiveness that makes you drool over the possibilities he can bring to the table. 

But put him against competition that is not his teammates, and he looks like a different (and subpar) runner, which is disappointing to see.

** Kaden Smith appears to have quietly passed Levine Toilolo on the depth chart based on the snap counts. And with good reason. Of the four tight ends, Smith is the most complete of the bunch, a guy who can run routes and block with some consistency. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith sees even more snaps next week; he’s certainly doing what he can to earn them. And who else besides me would like to see Smith take on some of the blocking assignments the coaches still give to Evan Engram?

** The Giants defense is averaging 68.6 snaps per game this season. And don’t look now, but their weekly totals have risen each week. In Week 1, they ran 64 plays; in Week 2, 65. 

This week it was a whopping 77 plays. So if you thought the Giants defense started to look gassed there toward the end, you probably weren’t imagining it.

** Based on the snap counts, C.J. Board looks like the new No. 3 receiver with Sterling Shepard out. And with Jabrill Peppers having an ankle injury, I wonder if Board will get the first crack at returning punts next week, assuming the Giants can force the Rams to punt, that is.

Charting the Snaps

Offense (52)

QB Daniel Jones 52; RT Cam Fleming 52; LG Will Hernandez 52; RG Kevin Zeitler 52; C Nick Gates 52; WR Darius Slayton 51; LT Andrew Thomas 50; WR Golden Tate 48; Evan Engram 44; WR C.J. Board 24; RB Dion Lewis 20; RB Wayne Gallman 18; WR Damion Ratley 18; TE Kaden Smith 16; RB Devonta Freeman 15; TE Levine Toilolo 4; LT Matt Peart 2; FB Eli Penny 2

Defense (77)

DB Logan Ryan 77; CB James Bradberry 77; ILB Blake Martinez 77; S Julian Love 68; CB Isaac Yiadom 59; DL Leonard Williams 57; DL Dexter Lawrence 55; ILB Devante Downs 55; DL Dalvin Tomlinson 49; OLB Lorenzo Carter 49; OLB Oshane Ximines 44; OLB Kyler Fackrell 39; CB Darnay Holmes 27; DL B.J. Hill 27; OLB Markus Golden 23; DL Austin Johnson 21; S Nate Ebner 13; S Jabrill Peppers 9

Special Teams

CB Corey Ballentine 22; S Nate Ebner 22; LB Cam Brown 21; OLB Oshane Ximines 17; WR Johnny Holton 13; FS Julian Love 13; FB Eli Penny 13; WR Johnny Holton 13; DL Dexter Lawrence II 12; ILB Carter Coughlin 12; DT Dalvin Tomlinson 12; OLB Lorenzo Carter 10; TE Kaden Smith 9; DL Leonard Williams 9; TE Levine Toilolo 9; DL BJ Hill 9; CB James Bradberry 9; OLB Kyler Fackrell 8; K Graham Gano 7; ILB Devante Downs 5; P Riley Dixon 4; LS Casey Kreiter 4; DB Logan Ryan 4; C Nick Gates 3; G Will Hernandez 3; G Kevin Zeitler 3; T Andrew Thomas 3; TE Evan Engram 3