The Denver Broncos were defeated by the Arizona Cardinals by the score of 18-17 during their preseason opener. The Broncos led the entire game but the Cardinals had a late fourth-quarter rally and won the game in the closing seconds by converting a two-point conversion.
At the end of the day, wins and losses during the preseason do not matter, but how well the players played and how many snaps did they take during this game is what is noteworthy. So we are going to take a look an in-depth look at the Broncos' snap counts in this one and what it might mean for these players as we progress through training camp and the preseason. These snap counts were provided by Denver 7’s Troy Renck.
- Russell Wilson - 20 snaps (31% of the snaps)
- Jarrett Stidham - 27 snaps (42% of the snaps)
- Ben DiNucci - 17 snaps (27% of the snaps)
Prior to the game, head coach Sean Payton said the starters would play 15 to 18 snaps in this one and for the most part, they did. Quarterback Russell played 20 snaps and four drives with the Broncos offenses and ended his night with a touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy.
Jarrett Stidham came in relief for Wilson and struggled. He completed 5 of 15 pass attempts and threw an interception. He still appears to be the main backup for Russell Wilson, but we shall see if Ben DiNucci gets a look moving forward.
Speaking of DiNucci, he entered late and played 17 snaps for the Broncos offense. He played well and led the offense down the field for a late fourth-quarter touchdown. He is the clear third-string quarterback right now, but we shall see if he pushes Stidham for that job moving forward.
- Tyler Badie - 25 snaps (39% of the snaps)
- Samaje Perine - 20 snaps (31% of the snaps)
- Jaleel McLaughlin - 10 snaps (16% of the snaps)
- Tony Jones Jr. - 9 snaps (14% of the snaps)
- Michael Burton - 5 snaps (8% of the snaps)
Samaje Perine took all 20 snaps with the Broncos' first-team offense with Javonte Williams not playing in this one. He is the clear-cut 1B in their rushing attack. Second-year back Tyler Badie had the most snaps of the backs and looks to be the current favorite for the third-string duties. Rookie Jaleel McLaughlin was productive with his 10 snaps and could see an increase in looks moving forward. Tony Jones Jr. was the fourth back to enter the game but he played one less snap than McLaughlin who came in after him. Rounding out the group is fullback Michael Burton who played just 5 snaps on offense. The Broncos were pass-heavy so Burton was not used all that much but I would expect that to change during the regular season.
- Lil’Jordan Humphrey - 30 snaps (47% of the snaps)
- Kendall Hinton - 21 snaps (33% of the snaps)
- Jalen Virgil - 19 snaps (30% of the snaps)
- Marquez Callaway - 19 snaps (30% of the snaps)
- Jerry Jeudy - 18 snaps (28% of the snaps)
- Courtland Sutton - 17 snaps (27% of the snaps)
- Taylor Grimes - 13 snaps (20% of the snaps)
- Michael Bandy: 12 snaps (19% of the snaps)
- Nick Williams: 11 snaps (17% of the snaps)
- Montrell Washington 8 snaps (12% of the snaps)
Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Marquez Callaway started the game and play anywhere from 17 to 19 snaps in this game. Callaway starting the game was interesting but made sense with Brandon Johnson and rookie Marvin Mims Jr. not playing in this game. Lil Jordan Humphrey played the second most snaps of all offensive players in this one while Kendall Hinton and Jalen Virgil played 20 and 19 snaps as well.
A name to watch as we progress through camp and the preseason is Taylor Grimes. He played well and had the most snaps of the third-string receivers. On the other hand, Montrell Washington played only 8 offensive snaps on the night which was the least amount of any receiver. That is something to keep an eye on as we move forward.
- Nate Adkins - 24 snaps (38% of the snaps)
- Albert Okwuegbunam - 17 snaps (27% of the snaps)
- Adam Trautman - 15 snaps (23% of the snaps)
- Greg Dulcich - 15 snaps (23% of the snaps)
- Tommy Hudson - 12 snaps (19% of the snaps)
Undrafted rookie tight end/fullback Nate Adkins had the most snaps of the Broncos' tight ends and that is noteworthy. He was listed as fourth on the initial depth chart and ahead of Albert Okwuegbunam and Tommy Hudson who he played more snaps than during this game. His blocking skills stood out and he appears to be on track for a spot on the 53-man roster.
Albert Okwuegbunam played 17 snaps in this one but I do not recall him being out there during this game. He had zero targets in the passing game and is currently fifth on the depth chart. Starters Adam Trautman and Greg Dulcich played the same amount of snaps, but in the future, Dulcich figures to lose some snaps. He was featured in two tight-end sets but when blocking specialist Chris Manhertz plays, he will eat into those snaps. Just something to keep in mind moving forward. Rounding out the group is Tommy Hudson who is last on the tight end depth chart and played the least amount of snaps of the tight ends.
- Alex Palczewski - 35 snaps (55% of the snaps)
- Isaiah Prince - 29 snaps (45% of the snaps)
- Demontrey Jacobs - 28 snaps (44% of the snaps)
- Kyle Fuller - 27 snaps (42% of the snaps)
- Luke Wattenberg: 27 snaps (42% of the snaps)
- Quinn Bailey: 27 snaps (42% of snaps)
- Quinn Meinerz: 20 snaps (31% of snaps)
- Garett Bolles: 20 snaps (31% of snaps)
- Ben Powers: 20 snaps (31% of snaps)
- Lloyd Cushenberry: 20 snaps (31% of snaps)
- Alex Forsyth: 17 snaps (27% of the snaps)
- Henry Byrd: 17 snaps (27% of the snaps)
- Will Sherman: 17 snaps (27% of the snaps)
- Cam Fleming: 16 snaps (25% of the snaps)
The first-team lineman played a total of 20 snaps while Isaiah Prince, who started in place of Mike McGlinchey played some snaps with the second-team offense. Rookie tackle Alex Palczewski played the most snaps of everyone on offense with 35 while fellow rookie tackle Demontrey Jacobs played 28. The majority of your third-team linemen played 17 snaps in this one.
- Jordan Jacksom: 40 snaps (51% of the snaps)
- Elijah Garcia: 39 snaps (49% of the snaps)
- P.J. Mustipher: 29 snaps (37% of the snaps)
- Matt Henningsen: 28 snaps (35% of the snaps)
- Forrest Merrill: 15 snaps (19% of the snaps)
- Tyler Lancaster: 14 snaps (18% of the snaps)
- Zach Allen: 14 snaps (18% of the snaps)
- Jonathan Harris: 12 snaps (15% of the snaps)
- D.J. Jones: 4 snaps (5% of the snaps)
- Haggai Ndubuisi: 4 snaps (5% of the snaps)
Nose tackle D.J. Jones played only four snaps because he left the game with a concussion and veteran Tyler Lancaster came in for him and played 14 snaps in this game. Second-year defensive ends Jordan Jackson and Elijah Garcia played a good chunk of this game and played well. Garcia had two sacks while Jordan Jackson was disruptive as well. Jonathan Harris played with the starters and had his reps limited, so he appears to be on track to be your starting defensive end for week one.
- Marcus Haynes: 48 snaps (61% of the snaps)
- Thomas Incoom: 48 snaps (61% of the snaps)
- Christopher Allen: 25 snaps (32% of the snaps)
- Nik Bonitto: 14 snaps (18% of the snaps)
- Jonathon Cooper: 13 snaps (16% of the snaps)
- Randy Gregory: 10 snaps (13% of the snaps)
With Frank Clark sidelined, Randy Gregory and Jonathon Cooper started this game and played the first two series of the game before exiting the game. Nik Bonitto spelled in at times and played 14 snaps but left the game with a hip injury. After that, Marcus Haynes, Thomas Incoom, and Christopher Allen played the rest of the edge rushing snaps.
- Justin Strnad: 33 snaps (42% of the snaps)
- Austin Ajiake: 26 reps (33% of the snaps)
- Drew Sanders: 25 reps (32% of the snaps)
- Seth Benson: 19 snaps (24% of the snaps)
- Josey Jewell: 15 snaps (19% of the snaps)
- Alex Singleton: 11 snaps (14% of the snaps)
- Ray Wilborn: 10 snaps (13% of the snaps)
Justin Strnad led the way with 33 snaps in this one as he fights for a spot on the roster. Surprisingly, recently signed Austin Ajiake received the second most snaps of the linebackers. Rookie Drew Sanders received some valuable playing time with 25 snaps on defense. Your starters Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton played two series and exited with the rest of the starters.
- Tremon Smith: 50 snaps (63% of the snaps)
- Faion Hicks: 36 snaps (46% of the snaps)
- Ja’Quan McMillian: 34 snaps (43% of the snaps)
- Delarrin Turner-Yell: 33 snaps (42% of the snaps)
- P.J. Locke: 33 snaps (42% of the snaps)
- Fabian Moreau: 33 snaps (42% of the snaps)
- JL Skinner: 31 snaps (39% of the snaps)
- Devon Key: 31 snaps (39% of the snaps)
- Delonte Hood: 31 snaps (39% of the snaps)
- Essang Bassey: 16 snaps (20% of the snaps)
- Damarri Mathis: 15 snap (19% of the snaps)
- Caden Sterns: 15 snaps (19% of the snaps)
- Kareem Jackson: 15 snaps (19% of the snaps)
Tremon Smith, who is buried on the depth chart played the most snaps of anyone on the roster during this game. Ja’Quan McMillian who played well saw a significant amount of snaps as he continues to push for a roster spot. Rookie safety JL Skinner who missed the entire offseason and only has some training camp under his belt received some much-needed snaps. Your starters, which included Essang Bassey who started in the slot, played 15 or 16 snaps.