Giants LB B.J. Goodson is ironman in 1st career start | Snap count analysis
13 September, 2017 06:32AM
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Giants linebacker B.J. Goodson played 13 defensive snaps last season as a rookie. He topped that total by the midpoint of the first quarter of Sunday night's 19-3 loss to the Cowboys.
Making his first career start, Goodson was over the field - and rarely came off of it. The 2016 fourth-round pick played 73-of-74 defensive snaps and finished with 18 tackles (14 solo). Goodson also played 9-of-24 special teams snaps.
Goodson's playing time could dip when linebacker Keenan Robinson returns from a concussion. But Goodson was such a play-making presence on Sunday that he may maintain a role in sub packages even when Robinson is back in the lineup.
Here are some additional takeaways from Sunday's snap counts:
*The Giants didn't ease first-round pick Evan Engram into his debut. Engram played 48-of-56 snaps. Rhett Ellison logged 19 snaps, while third tight end Jerell Adams played just two snaps.
After playing almost exclusively in three-receiver sets last season, the Giants mixed up their personnel groupings on Sunday. Three-receiver sets still dominated (72 percent), but the Giants mixed in two-tight end groupings on the rest of the snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
Engram's playing time didn't yield big results, as he finished with four catches for 44 yards. He broke free for a 31-yard gain in the fourth quarter, but was otherwise held in check.
*Shane Vereen led the running backs with 31 snaps, but that total is inflated by the nine plays on the Giants' final desperation drive. Paul Perkins started and played 17 snaps, managing just 16 yards on seven carries. Orleans Darkwa had three carries for 14 yards, but his playing time was typically limited (eight snaps) despite production. Fullback Shane Smith played eight snaps.
*Second-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson started at defensive tackle and played 44-of-74 snaps. Jay Bromley, who has been battling a knee injury, played just 14 defensive snaps. Tomlinson played well with four tackles.
The Giants continued last season's trend of leaning heavily on top defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul. Vernon played all but two snaps, while Pierre-Paul was on the field for 66-of-74 snaps. Romeo Okwara played 18 snaps, mostly inside on passing downs, while Kerry Wynn played five snaps and rookie Avery Moss didn't see any action on defense.
Vernon had a sack when rushing from the inside, but it was an otherwise quiet night for the defensive ends against Dallas' formidable offensive line.
*The Giants top three cornerbacks - Eli Apple (74 snaps), Janoris Jenkins (73) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (52) - got extensive playing time. The Giants rarely used four corners against the Cowboys' physical offense, as Michael Hunter played just three snaps and newly acquired Ross Cockrell didn't play on defense. When the Giants Jacoby Ellsbury Authentic Jersey used six defensive backs, they brought Andrew Adams (eight snaps) on as the third safety.
*Backup linebacker J.T. Thomas took Mark Herzlich's place as the top special teams player by logging 23-of-24 snaps in the kicking game.
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