The San Francisco 49ers were back in action on Sunday, and we got a mix of answers and more questions courtesy of their weekly snap count. I've posted the full snap count below, and you can read the Game Book PDF as well.
When the team announced defensive starters, Ahmad Brooks was among them, alongside Aldon Smith. Brooks had his much-discussed benching last week after saying something to Jim Tomsula. Jim Harbaugh said the issue was addressed, and clearly Jim Harbaugh was satisfied with the way it developed. Aldon Smith played in 95 percent of defensive snaps, while Brooks played 67 percent, and Aaron Lynch played in 38 percent. Dan Skuta was active again, but only played on special teams.
I'm not entirely sure what to make of the 49ers rotation. Both Brooks and Lynch graded out negatively, but given Lynch's body of work, I'm surprised we did not see more of him. My guess at this point is Brooks is going to play more of the base downs, while Lynch will be out there in nickel. That was not always the case on Sunday, but that would make the most sense at this point. The 49ers face a Seattle Seahawks team this week that is not exactly going to spread things out with that receiver corps, so we'll see if Brooks ends up with a big chunk of work again.
Bruce Miller got a lot of work due to tight end injuries. Vance McDonald was inactive and Derek Carrier suffered a foot injury that slowed him considerably. Miller ended up playing in 66 percent of the offensive snaps. In the past that would not be surprising, but this season he has seemingly seen a decline in his playing time as the 49ers spread things out a bit more. Bruce Miller may not be a flashy player, but the 49ers find success with him on the field. It seems like every time he gets a pass in the flat, he gains an important chunk of yards.