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Dolphins at Jaguars recap: Defensive snap counts for Miami in Week 3

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, we caught up with the Miami Dolphins’ snap counts through Week 3 for the offense. Today, we do the same with a look at the defense. This is typically a weekly look at who played and how much they played for the Dolphins from their past game. This week, we are taking a look at both Weeks 2 and 3, as the turn from Miami’s Week 2 loss to the Buffalo Bills to their Week 3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was a quick move from Sunday to Thursday.

The most interesting of the changes is the dramatic up-tick in snaps for defensive lineman Zach Sieler. After only playing four snaps in Week 1, he played 16 snaps (26 percent) in Week 2. In Week 3, he jumped up to 31 snaps, or 47 percent of the plays. He is someone who will likely continue to see his role increase, as he makes plays and the defense seems more efficient when he is on the field.

Across the rest of the defensive line, Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah lead the group with 80 percent of the snaps played for the season, with Lawson played 51 snaps (84 percent) in Week 2, though that fell to just 42 snaps (64 percent) in Week 3. Ogbah played 44 snaps (72 percent) in Week 2, then 53 percent in Week 3 (80 percent).

Christian Wilkins played 48 snaps (79 percent) in Week 2, then that dropped to 41 snaps (62 percent) in Week 3. Wilkins was a dominant force in Week 1, so the fewer snaps in Week 3, and playing only 69 percent of the plays on the season, is interesting. Is it just a rotational thing, or are the Dolphins pulling Wilkins off the field for a reason?

Continuing on the defensive line, Davon Godchaux continues to see fewer snaps each week. He started at 44 in Week 1, then went down to 38 (62 percent) in Week 2, and then down again to 28 snaps (42 percent) in Week 3. Raekwon Davis also continues to see a decrease in playing time, starting with 27 snaps in Week 1, then down to 22 snaps (36 percent) in Week 2, then 13 snaps (20 percent) in Week 3.

At linebacker, Jerome Baker has played 93 percent of the season snaps, including 57 (93 percent) in Wee 2 and 59 (89 percent) in Week 3. Kyle Van Noy, who was expected to be an every-down linebacker with Baker, has seen 79 percent of the playing time, including 58 snaps (95 percent) and 52 (79 percent) in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively.

The rest of the linebackers have seen split snaps, with Elandon Roberts not playing in Week 2 due to a concussion, then returning in Week 3 for 20 snaps (30 percent). Kamu Grugier-Hill and Andrew Van Ginkel both also played 20 snaps in Week 3, with Grugier-Hill having played 18 snaps (30 percent) in Week 2 and Van Ginkel seeing the field for 16 snaps (26 percent) against the Bills. Both of them could see increased playing time as they, like Sieler, have seen success when they get on the field. Calvin Munson saw eight snaps (13 percent) in Week 2 while Sam Eguavoen was on the field for two defensive snaps (three percent) in Week 3.

The cornerbacks have been shaken up over the past two weeks as Byron Jones left the Week 2 contest after just four snaps with an injury, then missed the Week 3 game. That has caused Noah Igbinoghene to lead the way with 84 percent of the season snaps played, including 57 snaps (93 percent) in Week 2 and all 66 snaps in Week 3. Xavien Howard has played 80 percent of the available snaps this season. After playing just 27 snaps in Week 1 as the team eased him back from a knee injury, Howard saw 60 snaps (98 percent) in Week 2 and all 66 snaps in Week 3.

Jamal Perry, who played 31 snaps in Week 1, saw his usage drop in Week 2, playing just five snaps (8 percent), but then rebounded to 41 snaps (62 percent) in Week 3. Meanwhile, Nik Needham made his season debut in Week 2, playing 54 snaps (89 percent), but struggling throughout the game. A player who made an impact as an emergency starter in 2019, Needham’s Week 2 performance led to him not seeing any defensive snaps in Week 3. Instead, Miami brought Tae Hayes up from the practice squad for 15 snaps (23 percent) played in Week 3.

At safety, Bobby McCain continues to lead the way, having played 95 percent of the snaps this season including 97 percent each of the last two weeks, 59 snaps in Week 2 and 64 snaps in Week 3. Eric Rowe and Brandon Jones are splitting snaps, with Rowe playing 37 snaps (61 percent) in Week 2 and 48 snaps (73 percent) while Jones took the field for 18 snaps (30 percent) in Week 2 and 39 snaps (59 percent) in Week 3. Kavon Frazier appeared for six snaps in Week 3.

Dolphins Snap Counts 2020 - Defense

Player Pos Week 1 Snaps Week 2 Snaps Week 3 Snaps Week 4 Snaps Week 5 Snaps Week 6 Snaps Week 6 Percent Season Snaps Played Total Season Snaps Season Percent
Player Pos Week 1 Snaps Week 2 Snaps Week 3 Snaps Week 4 Snaps Week 5 Snaps Week 6 Snaps Week 6 Percent Season Snaps Played Total Season Snaps Season Percent
Emmanuel Ogbah DE 55 44 53 48 43 53 75% 296 389 76%
Christian Wilkins DE 43 48 41 44 37 46 65% 259 389 67%
Shaq Lawson DE 60 51 42 47 43 61% 243 389 62%
Zach Sieler DE 4 16 31 26 44 49 69% 170 389 44%
Tyshun Render DE 8 8 389 2%
Davon Godchaux NT 44 38 28 36 26 172 389 44%
Raekwon Davis NT 27 22 13 19 11 26 37% 118 389 30%
Benito Jones NT 8 11% 8 389 2%
Jerome Baker LB 61 57 59 44 63 71 100% 355 389 91%
Kyle Van Noy LB 41 58 52 63 56 270 389 69%
Elandon Roberts LB 40 20 32 30 33 46% 155 389 40%
Kamu Grugier-Hill LB 18 18 20 23 37 18 25% 134 389 34%
Andrew Van Ginkel LB 8 16 20 10 46 17 24% 117 389 30%
Sam Eguavoen LB 2 8 49 69% 59 389 15%
Calvin Munson LB 8 8 389 2%
Xavien Howard CB 27 60 66 63 54 60 85% 330 389 85%
Noah Igbinoghene CB 37 57 66 63 10 13 18% 246 389 63%
Byron Jones CB 62 4 56 69 97% 191 389 49%
Nik Needham CB 54 44 33 61 86% 192 389 49%
Jamal Perry CB 31 5 41 23 13 1 1% 114 389 29%
Tae Hayes CB 15 15 389 4%
Bobby McCain S 58 59 64 40 56 70 99% 347 389 89%
Eric Rowe S 54 37 48 50 55 71 100% 315 389 81%
Brandon Jones S 34 18 39 19 9 21 30% 140 389 36%
Kavon Frazier S 6 9 1 1% 16 389 4%
Clayton Fejedelem S 1 1% 1 389 0%