Vikings' Week 14 playing time breakdown

An analysis of the snap counts from the Minnesota Vikings' 29-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium:

Offense (66 total plays)

Quarterback: Matt Cassel 66.

Offensive line: Charlie Johnson 66, Matt Kalil 66, John Sullivan 66, Phil Loadholt 64, Joe Berger 61, Brandon Fusco 5, J'Marcus Webb 4.

Receivers: Greg Jennings 56, Cordarrelle Patterson 50, Jerome Simpson 47, Joe Webb 10, Jarius Wright 7.

Running backs: Toby Gerhart 44, Jerome Felton 18, Adrian Peterson 16, Matt Asiata 3.

Tight ends: John Carlson 39, Rhett Ellison 32.

Noteworthy: The Vikings have worked in more three-receiver sets over the past few weeks, as they've tried to get Patterson more involved the offense. His 50 snaps were the most he's played, surpassing both of the last two games where the Vikings went to overtime. The rookie has taken Simpson's starting split end spot, but Simpson still leads the Vikings in receiving yards and was targeted eight times on Sunday, catching four passes for 48 yards and scoring his first touchdown in nearly two years. The switch has come at the expense of playing time for Felton, whose 18 snaps were his third-lowest total of the season on Sunday. As the Vikings get more comfortable with their three-receiver sets, they might find they have less use for a two-back offense. The only times Felton has played so sparsely were in blowout losses, where the Vikings were forced to throw the ball. Felton, who signed a three-year, $7.5 million deal in the offseason after helping Peterson run for 2,097 yards last season and earning a Pro Bowl berth himself, still has value as a run blocker, but might not find himself on the field as much if the Vikings want to spend more time with Jennings, Patterson and Simpson on the field together.

Defense (85 total plays)

Defensive line: Jared Allen 78, Brian Robison 64, Everson Griffen 59, Kevin Williams 53, Sharrif Floyd 34, Letroy Guion 34, Fred Evans 28.

Linebackers: Audie Cole 85, Chad Greenway 85, Erin Henderson 7, Marvin Mitchell 6.

Defensive backs: Jamarca Sanford 85, Chris Cook 84, Andrew Sendejo 80, Robert Blanton 74, Xavier Rhodes 60, Marcus Sherels 21.

Noteworthy: For as much as the Vikings talked about wanting to reduce Williams' workload, the 11th-year player has still been a constant in the middle of the Vikings' line. He's logged more time than Floyd most of the season, and it will be interesting to see what the Vikings do with their three-technique tackle position this offseason, when Williams is scheduled to hit free agency. Floyd hasn't made the kind of impact they were hoping for, and it might be worth trying to bring Williams back on a one-year deal. ... Coach Leslie Frazier continued to speak well of Cole's work at middle linebacker. He said Cole's coverage on Marvin Brown's game-winning touchdown was fine, and seemed pleased with the way Cole ran the defense overall. It seems more and more like the Vikings will stick with the second-year man at middle linebacker for the rest of the season, playing Henderson in his old weak-side linebacker spot on the rare occasions they've got three linebackers on the field. Considering the high-powered offenses the Vikings play the rest of the season, they might not spend much time in their base defense. ... Sendejo had one of his best games at safety, intercepting one pass and getting a second interception -- which would have ended the game -- called back because of a dubious pass interference call on Greenway. If Harrison Smith returns this week, it will be interesting to see if Sendejo challenges Sanford for playing time, or if the Vikings keep using him as they work Smith back into game shape. ... Blanton will probably continue to see time this week, with Josh Robinson out and Rhodes trying to come back from a sprained ankle, but it's worth noting how much more time he spent on the field than Sherels. It's possible his future will be as a slot corner, not a safety.

Top special teams contributors (33 total plays): Michael Mauti 26, Matt Asiata 26, Shaun Prater 26, Sherels 25, Mistral Raymond 22, Larry Dean 21, Ellison 19, Sendejo 18, Mitchell 18, Gerald Hodges 17.