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Of Snap Counts And Grades: Panthers Game

Simmons and McBride see their time jump up

It didn't hurt that the Cardinals only had to play 52 total defensive snaps on Sunday against the Panthers, but the bulk of the defenders played a good chunk of the snaps in the unit's excellent effort, including defensive lineman Zach Allen (49) and J.J. Watt (41). Watt's came after the news he had to get his heart shocked last week.

Another notable snap count: linebacker Isaiah Simmons had 43 snaps, or 83 percent. It was likely impacted by Nick Vigil getting hurt early (he was limited to only four snaps himself), but Simmons was out there most of the time, as was fellow young linebacker Zaven Collins, who played 100 percent of the snaps.

Also playing every snap were cornerback Byron Murphy and safeties Budda Baker and Marco Wilson. Cornerback Marco Wilson missed just one snap. Outside linebacker Markus Golden led the edge group with 37, while new cornerback Trayvon Mullen got his first defensive work of the year with 18.

Just-signed safety Chris Banjo played one defensive snap but had a team-high 19 special teams snaps.

The defense played well and the Pro Football Focus grades reflected that for many. The eyes said Allen had a great game and so did his grade (82.2), followed by Murphy (73.5), linebacker Dennis Gardeck (71.1), Golden (68.0), inside linebacker Ben Niemann (67.5), Collins (66.8), Watt (65.8) and Thompson (65.2).

On the offensive side of the ball, rookie Trey McBride was a big part of the offense, with 32 snaps out of 76 (and three catches). Zach Ertz had the most snaps of the tight ends (62) but McBride was ahead of Maxx Williams (23) for the first time.

The return of Rondale Moore was no ease-in situation, with Moore playing 65 snaps. Greg Dortch, not surprisingly, had his count dwindle to 27. At running back, James Conner finished with 50 snaps, followed by Darrel Williams (16) and new kicker Eno Benjamin (11).

Wide receiver Hollywood Brown, with another good game, also got the highest offensive grade from PFF with an 80.3. (Benjamin, in his limited time was 80.1). Ertz (74.2), guard Will Hernandez (68.1), tackle D.J. Humphries (67.5), Conner (66.6), Darrel Williams (64.1), tackle Kelvin Beachum (64.0), and McBride (62.8) also scored well.

TE Trey McBride
TE Trey McBride
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