San Francisco 49ers

Snap counts: Rookies Martin & Lynch log big minutes; Bruce Miller watch continues

Ahmad Brooks knocks the ball from Saints quarterback Drew Brees on the game’s most pivotal play.
Ahmad Brooks knocks the ball from Saints quarterback Drew Brees on the game’s most pivotal play. AP

As you would expect in an overtime game in which both teams had two possessions, there were more snaps in the contest than any one of the 49ers' previous games. The starting offensive linemen and Colin Kaepernick, all of whom were criticized in last week's eight-sack loss to St. Louis, played all 69 offensive snaps.

Afterward, Jim Harbaugh praised a number of his players but was especially ebullient about rookie center Marcus Martin, who was making his second NFL start, his first on the road and his first-ever game in a dome, which absolutely hammered the 49ers offense with decibels in key third-down situations and in overtime.

The 49ers, however, had just two penalties accepted on the afternoon with only one – pass-interference call on Anquan Boldin – going against the offense. That is, there were zero false starts.

“Got to give Marcus Martin a lot of credit,” Harbaugh said. “Thought he was really, really on his game. Every snap—darn near every snap was perfect. He was really poised. The poise and the noise and he was outstanding.”

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The Saints, meanwhile, had 81 snaps with three 49ers – Antoine Bethea, Perrish Cox and Aaron Lynch – playing every one of them. That Lynch never came off the field is amazing considering that he played only 20 snaps in Week 1. He finished the game with six tackles and knocked down a pass.

Bethea and Chris Culliver came away with interceptions, but the pass-interference penalty Cox drew on Jimmy Graham was one of the three biggest plays of the game. The Saints later complained that Cox flopped. Even if he did, it was a savvy flop. Harbaugh said that Cox and safety Eric Reid toughed it out in the game despite getting nicked.

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Two forgotten defensive linemen, Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine, saw the most action of the season. Dial played 29 defensive snaps, most of them at nose tackle after Ian Williams left in the second quarter with what Harbaugh said appeared to be a fracture in his lower leg. Carradine played five snaps and had a tackle.

If the 49ers had their druthers, Glenn Dorsey would play nose tackle in Williams' absence. However, if he's not quite ready to return from a torn bicep suffered Aug. 1, Dial or Tony Jerod-Eddie – perhaps a combination of the two – would take over the spot until Dorsey can come back.

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Finally, fullback Bruce Miller has become a telltale for 49ers wins and losses. He played a healthy 46 percent of the snaps as the 49ers' run-pass ratio was even. He played 25 percent of the snaps in last week's loss to St. Louis.

49ers offense

Joe Staley 69 100%

Alex Boone 69, 100%

Anthony Davis 69, 100%

Mike Iupati 69, 100%

Marcus Martin 69, 100%

Colin Kaepernick 69, 100%

Vernon Davis 68, 99%

Anquan Boldin 62, 90%

Frank Gore 50, 72%

Michael Crabtree 44, 64%

Bruce Miller 32, 46%

Vance McDonald 28, 41%

Brandon Lloyd 21, 30%

Stevie Johnson 18, 26%

Carlos Hyde 13, 19%

Derek Carrier 8, 12%

Kassim Osgood 1, 1%

49ers defense

Perrish Cox 81, 100%

Aaron Lynch 81, 100%

Antoine Bethea 81, 100%

Michael Wilhoite 80, 99%

Eric Reid 80, 99%

Chris Culliver 80, 99%

Chris Borland 70, 86%

Ray McDonald 70, 86%

Ahmad Brooks 70, 86%

Justin Smith 64, 79%

Jimmie Ward 42, 52%

Quinton Dial, 29 36%

Tony Jerod-Eddie 23, 28%

Tramaine Brock 19, 23%

Ian Williams 11, 14%

Tank Carradine 5, 6%

Corey Lemonier 2, 2%

Dontae Johnson 2, 2%

Craig Dahl 1, 1%

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