Vikings' Week 15 playing time breakdown

December, 16, 2013
12/16/13
5:36
PM ET
An analysis of the snap counts from the Minnesota Vikings' 48-30 win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Mall of America Field:

Offense (75 total plays)

Quarterback: Matt Cassel 75.
Offensive line: Charlie Johnson 75, Matt Kalil 75, John Sullivan 75, Phil Loadholt 75, Joe Berger 75.
Receivers: Greg Jennings 50, Cordarrelle Patterson 42, Jerome Simpson 36, Jarius Wright 23, Joe Webb 17,
Running backs: Matt Asiata 65, Jerome Felton 28, Joe Banyard 5.
Tight ends: Rhett Ellison 64, Chase Ford 35.

Noteworthy: With both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart out because of injuries, the Vikings gave Asiata all but two of their handoffs, which went to Patterson. And they opened the game with the two-tight end set they used frequently throughout the day. Ford played well in his first significant action of the year, catching two passes for 55 yards and giving Cassel a big target down the middle of the field. ... Simpson had one of his quietest days of the season, getting targeted with just three passes and catching one for 19 yards, as Cassel looked toward Jennings 13 times and brought Wright back into the Vikings' offense as a slot receiver.

Defense (69 total plays)

Defensive line: Jared Allen 65, Brian Robison 58, Everson Griffen 42, Kevin Williams 37, Sharrif Floyd 32, Letroy Guion 22, Fred Evans 20.
Linebackers: Chad Greenway 69, Audie Cole 67, Erin Henderson 11, Marvin Mitchell 1.
Defensive backs: Shaun Prater 69, Marcus Sherels 69, Harrison Smith 61, Robert Blanton 59, Jamarca Sanford 47, Andrew Sendejo 30.

Noteworthy: The Vikings had plans to ease Smith back into the lineup after a two-month absence because of turf toe, but the second-year safety kept asking for more time, and the Vikings kept giving it to him. He tied for the team lead with eight tackles, and coach Leslie Frazier acknowledged the Vikings used him much more than they'd planned to. "I thought Harrison's presence made a big difference," Frazier said. "He's such a calming influence on our entire defense and our secondary in particular. Some of the things he does that don't show up on the stat sheet -- just moving around, being in position and discouraging quarterbacks by just his movement some times where he’s bluffing like he might be coming on a blitz, or showing where he might be in the box to discourage a run and all of a sudden he’s back in the half-field position -- his presence helps us all. It was great to have him back." ... The Vikings got closer to the split they'd envisioned all year between Williams and Floyd, dialing back some of the veteran tackle's snaps. ... Henderson got a few more snaps than he did last week against Chicago, partially because Cole went out briefly after being shaken up on a block in the third quarter, but it continues to look as though Henderson will have a tough time getting on the field. ... Prater acquitted himself well at cornerback, intercepting Nick Foles in the second half and avoiding big plays against the Eagles' explosive receivers. The same couldn't be said for Blanton, who got beat on a 30-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson on a play where the Vikings appeared confused before the snap.

Top special teams contributors (35 total plays): Mistral Raymond 22, Gerald Hodges 21, Michael Mauti 21, Marvin Mitchell 20, Andrew Sendejo 20, Larry Dean 19, Joe Webb 19, Joe Banyard 18.

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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