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49ers Snap Count: Patrick Willis, Isaac Sopoaga See Less Playing Time Than Expected

As the NFL has grown each year, the league has begun to provide more and more data to help us better understand what is going on. The NFL can be stubborn at times, but they do deserve some measure of credit for offering up things like the All-22 Coaches Film. They have taken another modest but helpful step as they are now also providing the snap count for each player. You can view the 49ers snap count on the last page of this PDF.

If you can't open the PDF, I've pasted the 49ers info after the jump. Where two percentages are listed, the first is regular plays, the second is special teams plays. There were five players with 100% participation, and of course they were all offensive linemen. They also each have some special teams plays as well, but I believe that is for the three field goals and three extra points.

The most important key to take from this for yesterday's game is the fact that the team emerged relatively unscathed. Frank Gore took a big hit on his touchdown run, but other than that I don't recall any noticeable injury concerns. I'll take that every day of the week, particularly in victory.

One thing I found particularly noticeable was that the team used NaVorro Bowman a fair amount more than Patrick Willis. The team ran 72 defensive plays, with Bowman in on 59 of the plays and Willis in on 48. The team mixed and matched how they used their two inside linebackers, but there did seem to be a strong move towards Bowman. Update: Matt Barrows explained it as alternating and Bowman ended up on a longer series than Willis.

This will be something worth following in the coming games. The defense brought some interesting fronts that I don't recall seeing nearly this often last year. If I'm reading this gamebook right, Isaac Sopoaga only appeared in seven defensive plays. The 49ers did show a lot of two defensive linemen fronts, but that still seems pretty low.

According to Pro Football Focus he played in 19 defensive plays against Detroit last year. I suggest them because of the Lions passing attack. It is not quite like the Packers, but still prolific. The Packers really did seem to give up running for extended stretches, primarily because they had little chance of success. The extra work in the nickel and dime would account for the limited snaps for Sopoaga.

Here is your 49ers snap count for Week 1.

A Davis T 67 100% 6 20%
J Staley T 67 100% 6 20%
M Iupati G 67 100% 6 20%
A Boone T 67 100% 5 17%
J Goodwin C 67 100% 1 3%
A Smith QB 66 99%
V Davis TE 65 97%
F Gore RB 50 75%
M Crabtree WR 45 67%
B Miller FB 37 55% 9 30%
D Walker TE 34 51% 10 33%
M Manningham WR 29 43%
R Moss WR 21 31%
K Williams WR 16 24% 7 23%
K Hunter RB 15 22% 4 13%
L Davis G 12 18% 6 20%
W Tukuafu DE 6 9% 14 47%
D Kilgore G 5 7% 10 33%
C Kaepernick QB 1 1%
D Goldson FS 72 100% 7 23%
R McDonald DE 72 100% 4 13%
D Whitner SS 72 100%
T Brown CB 71 99% 4 13%
C Rogers CB 71 99%
A Smith LB 70 97% 4 13%
J Smith DE 70 97%
C Culliver CB 65 90% 8 27%
N Bowman LB 59 82% 5 17%
A Brooks LB 56 78% 4 13%
P Cox CB 55 76% 9 30%
P Willis LB 48 67% 4 13%
I Sopoaga NT 7 10%
D Dobbs DE 2 3% 25 83%
C Spillman SS 1 1% 20 67%
R Jean Francois NT 1 1% 4 13%
D McBath FS 24 80%
A Dixon RB 20 67%
T Gooden LB 20 67%
T Brock CB 19 63%
L Grant LB 16 53%
T Robinson DB 15 50%
D Akers K 12 40%
A Lee P 11 37%
B Jennings LS 11 37%