Snap Count Analysis: C.J. Anderson Plays 75 Percent in Rams Debut 

The Rams didn’t have running back Todd Gurley available on Sunday, but they did have newly signed running back C.J. Anderson — and that was more than enough.

Here’s a look at the snap counts from Los Angeles’ 31-9 victory over Arizona, which brought the club to 12-3 on the season.

OFFENSE

— Anderson started at running back and took the most snaps at the position, as he was out there for 51 snaps, or 75 percent of the offensive plays. He clearly made the most of them, taking 20 carries for 167 yards with a touchdown.

— Los Angeles had only three players on the field for 100 percent of offensive snaps: left guard Rodger Saffold, right guard Austin Blythe, and right tackle Rob Havenstein.

— The Rams removed most offensive starters from the game about midway through the fourth quarter. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, center John Sullivan, quarterback Jared Goff, and wide receiver Robert Woods each played 60 snaps (88 percent). Wide receiver Brandin Cooks was on the field for 59 snaps (87 percent).

— Los Angeles has played almost exclusively in 11 personnel this year, with one running back, one tight end, and three wide receivers. But in this game, L.A. utilized a lot of 12 personnel, with one running back, two tight ends, and two wide receivers. With that, tight end Gerald Everett played 51 snaps (75 percent) and tight end Tyler Higbee played 50 snaps (74 percent). Wide receiver Josh Reynolds played 35 percent of snaps (51 percent).

— With Justin Davis also dealing with a shoulder injury, rookie running back John Kelly was the No. 2 RB on Sunday. He played 17 snaps (25 percent), and took 10 carries for 40 yards. He also had one nine-yard reception.

— Wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge (nine snaps, 13 percent) had that one replacement snap for Cooks. But he, tight end Johnny Mundt, offensive tackle Joe Noteboom, center Brian Allen, and backup QB Sean Mannion played the Rams’ last eight offensive snaps (12 percent).

DEFENSE

— Defensive tackle Aaron Donald played the most defensive snaps on his record-breaking day. Donald was on the field for 51 of Los Angeles’ 53 total defensive snaps (96 percent). Donald set the single-season record for sacks by an interior lineman and broke the Rams’ single-season franchise record for sacks on Sunday. He has 19.5 sacks in 2018.

— No other player was on the field for more than 46 defensive snaps — and that player was outside linebacker Dante Fowler (87 percent). Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh played 45 snaps (85 percent). Linebacker Cory Littleton, cornerback Marcus Peters, and safety John Johnson each played 44 snaps (83 percent).

— The rest of the defensive snaps where somewhat all over the map, especially considering L.A. inserted reserves during the fourth quarter. Cornerback Aqib Talib played 41 snaps (77 percent), and though he did leave the game briefly when starters were in, he returned to action. Safety Lamarcus Joyner (39 snaps, 74 percent) left the game with an ankle injury and did not return.

SPECIAL TEAMS

— Wide receiver JoJo Natson added kick return duties to his punt return role after L.A. waived Pharoh Cooper last week. Natson ended up playing nine snaps.

— Johnny Hekker punted only twice, but launched them for an average of 51.5-yards each. His net average was 51.0 yards. And both punts were downed inside the 20. That’s strong work.

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