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Of Snap Counts And Grades: Rams Game

Brown shines after big game; Simmons gets 33 percent of defensive work

After Hollywood Brown set a personal best with 14 receptions Sunday (for 140 yards), perhaps it isn't surprising he received a team-best 76.6 grade from Pro Football Focus for his game against the Rams. But Brown also played 79 of 83 offensive snaps, a heavy amount and one that draws into focus how thin the Cards are at wide receiver at the moment.

To wit: tight end Zach Ertz, who often is functioning as a wideout in the slot, played 77 snaps on Sunday. Greg Dortch played 67.

The running back snaps breakdown: James Conner had 50, Eno Benjamin had 22 and Darrel Williams 14.

On the defensive side of the ball, the one everyone was watching -- linebacker Isaiah Simmons -- played only 16 snaps, although with only 48 total defensive snaps in the first place, it still was a big jump in his percentage of plays from the week before. The usual suspects played all 48: defensive backs Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Marco Wilson and Byron Murphy. And fellow cornerback Jace Whittaker played 45 (although his role will be interesting; he reverts to the practice squad Monday and now must be signed to the 53-man roster to play any more this season.)

Newcomer cornerback Trayvon Mullen did not play a defensive snap. He did play eight special teams snaps.

Linebacker Zaven Collins played 35 snaps before he hurt his shoulder, but other than Markus Golden (32), no other linebacker played more than 18 snaps. Zach Allen led the defensive linemen with 40 snaps, with J.J. Watt logging 30.

It was the linebackers that had the best PFF grades, even in limited time, however. Devon Kennard was at 75.9, Tanner Vallejo was 73.1, Ben Niemann was at 71.3, with Watt at 71.0, Collins at 69.6, Golden at 66.2, defensive lineman Michael Dogbe at 63.9 and Baker at 63.1.

Behind Brown on offense were Conner (72.4), tackle D.J. Humphries (68.5), tackle Kelvin Beachum (67.4), Dortch (66.7), guard Will Hernandez (64.8) and center Rodney Hudson (63.3).