While watching a game live can give you one impression of a player's usage, looking at the actual amount of snaps they played compared to their teammates can also provide insight into the team's strategy and outlook.
When looking at the snap counts for the Jacksonville Jaguars' 37-21 opening loss to the Houston Texans, it is clear to see what kind of plan the Jaguars went into the game with, and what limitations they had from a personnel standpoint.
Who played a lot, and why? Did the snaps mean anything or nothing? We examine below.
Offense (74 snaps)
- LT Cam Robinson: (74, 100%)
- LG Andrew Norwell: (74, 100%)
- C Brandon Linder: (74, 100%)
- RG A.J. Cann: (74, 100%)
- RT Jawaan Taylor: (74, 100%)
- QB Trevor Lawrence: (74, 100%)
- WR Marvin Jones Jr.: (67, 91%)
- WR DJ Chark: (62, 84%)
- TE James O'Shaughnessy (59, 80%)
- WR Laviska Shenault: (52, 70%)
- RB James Robinson: (47, 64%)
- TE Chris Manhertz: (26, 35%)
- RB Carlos Hyde: (25, 34%)
- WR Jamal Agnew: (10, 14%)
- WR Devin Smith: (9, 12%)
- WR Tyron Johnson: (9, 12%)
- TE Luke Farrell: (4, 5%)
James Robinson dominated the Jaguars' snaps at running back, playing 22 more snaps than Carlos Hyde with the Jaguars trailing for the entire game. But even with Robinson on the field more, Hyde still outpaced him in touches, getting 11 touches (nine carries, two receptions) to Robinson's eight (five carries, three receptions), which is surprising considering how much more Robinson was on the field.
Jamal Agnew wasn't utilized much on offense throughout the preseason or training camp, but he ended Week 1 with more snaps than new additions Devin Smith and Tyron Johnson. Johnson has been on the Jaguars' roster for only 12 days while Smith has been on the roster a few days longer than that, so Agnew does know the offense better, but it was still perplexing to see him in the lineup instead of the Jaguars' two backup deep threats, especially when he didn't record a touch or a target in the passing game.
The Jaguars have a TE1. After a preseason in which it looked as if Chris Manhertz would lead the Jaguars' tight end room in usage, James O'Shaughnessy had significantly more time on the field as the Jaguars turned to the passing game. Manhertz was primarily used as a pass-blocker, leaving O'Shaughnessy and his six catches as the largest impact from the tight end room.
Speaking of tight ends, there was rarely any usage of fifth-round rookie tight end Luke Farrell. The Jaguars primarily used just two tight ends throughout the game, leaving Lawrence as the only Jaguars' draft pick who played more than three snaps on offense.
Defense (78 snaps)
- CB Shaquill Griffin: (78, 100%)
- S Rayshawn Jenkins: (78, 100%)
- CB CJ Henderson: (78, 100%)
- LB Myles Jack: (71, 91%)
- LB D Wilson: (60, 77%)
- S A Wingard: (55, 71%)
- DE/OLB Josh Allen: (53, 68%)
- DT Malcom Brown: (51, 65%)
- DT DaVon Hamilton: (46, 59%)
- DT Roy Robertson-Harris DT 45 58% 7 20%
- DE/OLB Jihad Ward: (43, 55%)
- DE/OLB K'Lavon Chaisson: (37, 47%)
- DE/OLB Dawuane Smoot: (36, 46%)
- DT Taven Bryan: (30, 38%)
- CB Tyson Campbell: (29, 37%)
- S Andre Cisco: (23, 29%)
- DE/OLB Lerentee McCray: (15, 19%)
- S Rudy Ford: (12, 15%)
- LB Dakota Allen: (7, 9%)
- LB Shaquille Quarterman: (7, 9%)
- CB Chris Claybrooks: (3, 4%)
While the Jaguars are still sorting out their rotations throughout the defense, it is clear the team has three spots locked up moving forward: both cornerback positions and free safety. None of Shaquill Griffin, CJ Henderson or Rayshawn Jenkins left the field for the Jaguars, with only 32 snaps being played by cornerbacks not named Henderson and Griffin. Look for those three to be the nucleus of the secondary for all of 2021.
Andre Cisco didn't start the game, but the first-year safety ended it. Third-year safety Andrew Wingard started the game for the Jaguars but was yanked off the field in favor of Cisco after he allowed two missed tackles and multiple completions in coverage. Cisco didn't get the bulk of the snaps due to Wingard starting the game, but things began to trend that way as the game progressed and the score became more unbalanced.
Taven Bryan got the nod at defensive tackle over fourth-round draft pick Jay Tufele, but he still played the least amount of snaps among the Jaguars' interior defensive line. With that said, the Jaguars only played four interior linemen all game. Bryan didn't get a lot of run, but few backup linemen did.
Despite the Jaguars rarely playing Damien Wilson in passing situations during the preseason, he rarely left the field on Sunday. Rudy Ford subbed in as a third safety at times but there were multiple occasions where he replaced Tyson Campbell in the slot as opposed to replacing Wilson in the box.