Snap Count Analysis: Donald Plays 100 Percent for First Time, Fowler Plays 62 Percent in Debut

The Rams lost for the first time in 2018, falling to the Saints 45-35. The game saw the return of wide receiver Cooper Kupp to the lineup and the debut of outside linebacker Dante Fowler. Here’s a look at the team’s snap counts from all three phases.

OFFENSE

— Los Angeles had seven players on the field for all 60 of its offensive snaps. The starting offensive line once again was able to start and play each snap, giving the club 26 consecutive games of consequence (excluding Week 17 of 2017 where starters rested) where the first-team offensive line was able to start.

— Quarterback Jared Goff and wide receiver Cooper Kupp were Los Angeles’ sixth and seventh players on the field for all 60 offensive snaps. Kupp was returning from missing two games due to injury. He caught five passes for 89 yards — including a 41-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

— Wide receiver Brandin Cooks played 59 snaps (98 percent), recording six receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown against the team that drafted him back in 2014. Wide receiver Robert Woods was right behind with 58 snaps (97 percent), making five receptions for 71 yards. He added two carries for four yards on jet sweeps.

— Running back Todd Gurley was on the field for all but six snaps (90 percent). While Gurley set a franchise record by scoring a touchdown in 12 consecutive games, He was mostly held in check recording only 68 yards on the ground and 11 yards through the air on six receptions.

— Running back Malcolm Brown made the most of his six snaps, making an 18-yard touchdown reception during the second half. It was the first receiving touchdown of Brown’s career.

— At tight end, Tyler Higbee (42 snaps/70 percent) caught two passes for 40 yards. And Gerald Everett (18 snaps/30 percent) caught three passes for 48 yards. Everett also caught a tunnel screen for a two-point conversion that tied the game at 35.

— With the starting 11 on offense all healthy, wide receivers Josh Reynolds (two snaps) and KhaDarel Hodge (one snap) received minimal playing time.

DEFENSE

— Four players were on the field for each of the 71 defensive snaps: linebacker Cory Littleton, safety John Johnson, cornerback Marcus Peters, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

— Per stats compiled by Pro Football Reference, It’s the first time in his career that Donald has played 100 percent of snaps in a game. He’s played games with at least 71 snaps before — including earlier this year in the victory over the Vikings. But there’s never been a game where he wasn’t on the bench for at least one defensive play.

— In his Rams debut, outside linebacker Dante Fowler was on the field for 44 snaps (62 percent). Fowler had one tackle for loss and one pass defensed against New Orleans, and was also involved in pressuring quarterback Drew Brees a few times.

— Safety Lamarcus Joyner and cornerback Troy Hill were both on the field for 69 snaps (97 percent). Coming off an illness during the week, cornerback Sam Shields did not play a defensive snap against New Orleans.

— Inside linebacker Mark Barron was on the field for 62 snaps (87 percent). He was No. 4 on the team in total tackles with seven. In terms of pure snaps, this was the most Barron’s played so far this season. While he played at least 80 percent of the snaps against the Seahawks and Packers, his previous high was 48 plays in Seattle.

— Starting outside linebacker Samson Ebukam was on the field for 48 snaps (68 percent), making a pair of tackles and recording a first fumble. L.A.’s second outside linebacker Matt Longacre was on the field for 27 snaps (38 percent).

SPECIAL TEAMS

— Linebacker Bryce Hager and safety Blake Countess led the way with 24 special teams snaps (77 percent).

— Linebacker Ramik Wilson, cornerback Dominique Hatfield, linebacker Micah Kiser, and outside linebacker Justin Lawler came in second with 16 snaps (52 percent).

— Punt returner JoJo Natson played only two snaps (six percent), as the Saints punted only twice.

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