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Is Dontari Poe the most valuable Kansas City Chiefs defensive player?

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The Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle has played a LOT of snaps this year. Is he the most valuable player on the defensive side of the ball?

Is Dontari Poe the KC Chiefs best defensive player? Maybe not. Is he the most irreplaceable? I think so.

ESPN's Adam Teicher had a neat story pointing out that Poe, the Chiefs 2012 first round pick, has been playing a ridiculous amount of snaps this year. And that he might be their most valuable defensive player.

First, the numbers.

Snaps played Total snaps Missed snaps Percentage played
Week 1: 62 / 71 62 71 9 87%
Week 2: 64 / 64 64 64 0 100%
Week 3: 65 / 65 65 65 0 100%
Week 4: 57 / 63 57 63 6 90%
Week 5: 62 / 69 62 69 7 90%
Week 6: 63 / 74 63 74 11 85%
Week 7: 56 / 56 56 56 0 100%
Week 8: 52 / 54 52 54 2 96%
Week 9: 80 / 80 80 80 0 100%
Week 11: 80 / 80 80 80 0 100%
Week 12: 68 / 70 68 70 2 97%
Week 13: 68 / 70 68 70 2 97%
Total 777 816 39 95%

Poe missed just nine snaps in the Chiefs Week 1 beat down of the Jaguars. He played every snap in the following two weeks. In Week 4, he missed six snaps followed by just seven missed snaps the next week. In Week 6, he missed 11 snaps, the highest number of snaps not played all season for him. From Week 7 to Week 11, Poe missed just two total snaps. In the last two weeks, he has played 68-of-70 snaps in each game.

Add all that up and you get this: The Chiefs defense has played 816 snaps this year. Dontari Poe, a 345-pound behemoth of a man, has played 777 of those. Or 95 percent of them. A man his size playing 95 percent of snaps is ... it's comical. We knew he was a Combine freak but I did not realize that would translate to the NFL in this way with his ability to play so many snaps. It's amazing how everything has changed for him from year one to year two (and partially the reason I'm not all that down on Eric Fisher yet).

It's not just that he's playing a lot. It's that he's really good doing it. If you watch the defensive line, you can see what kind of push he gets. It may not always result in a statistic (in fact, it usually doesn't) but Poe is making a difference.

After the Ron Edwards and Kelly Gregg era, it's nice to see.

If you haven't yet, read this story on Poe from ESPN The Magazine.