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Chiefs replaced Marcus Cooper with Jamell Fleming; Dee Ford did not play on defense

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Observations on who played and how much they played in the Chiefs-Chargers game.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs snap counts this week are interesting because of what went down with Marcus Cooper, who has been the Chiefs starting cornerback all season. The Chiefs decided to put Cooper on the bench in favor of little known Jamell Fleming, who was signed off the Ravens practice squad in the first week of the season.

Fleming took Cooper's spot against the Chargers on Sunday with 51 of the 52 snaps, according to snap counts from the league. Cooper did not play a single snap on defense, instead he played only on special teams. Is this just for this week? Is it permanent? Those are all questions we'll bug Andy Reid about this week. Judging by the results from Fleming, I don't think this was a slam dunk move because Fleming, a young player, had his struggles. It sounds like Cooper handled it well.

There are more notable snap counts in here than most weeks with the Chiefs benching Cooper, replacing Donnie Avery at receiver, keeping Donald Stephenson on the bench and replacing injured Chris Owens and Eric Berry. Oh, and the first round pick didn't play a snap on defense yet nobody seemed to notice.

I made it this far and I haven't even complained about Travis Kelce's (lack of) snaps. To our snap count observations....

OFFENSE

Position Player Snaps
QB Alex Smith 74
OT Eric Fisher 74
OT Ryan Harris 74
G Zach Fulton 74
G Mike McGlynn 74
C Rodney Hudson 74
WR Dwayne Bowe 64
RB Jamaal Charles 57
TE Anthony Fasano 56
WR AJ Jenkins 50
TE Travis Kelce 39
WR Frankie Hammond 24
FB Anthony Sherman 23
WR Junior Hemingway 20
RB Knile Davis 16
RB De'Anthony Thomas 12
TE Demetrius Harris 6
WR Albert Wilson 3
  • This is Donald Stephenson's second game back and he remains on the bench in favor of Ryan Harris. Stephenson played five snaps on special teams but none on offense.
  • With Donnie Avery out, AJ Jenkins and Frankie Hammond combined to replace him. Jenkins had that 19-yard run where he stepped out of bounds early.
  • Anthony Fasano played 18 more snaps than Travis Kelce, who ended up with four catches for 33 yards, including two critical ones on the game winning drive. Kelce seemed like a non factor until the second half.
  • De'Anthony Thomas had three touches in his 12 snaps on offense. He saw the ball on the game's first snap with a reverse. Later he picked up a first down with a quick bubble screen.
  • The Chiefs do good things when they're running the ball. Anthony Sherman not only caught a touchdown pass but had some nice blocks to keep the Chiefs running backs going. I could stand to see even more snaps out of Knile Davis.
  • Albert Wilson made his first career NFL catch with his three snaps. I would consider mixing him in there more often with Avery out.
  • Cyrus Gray fractured his hand in the 49ers game. He did not play on offense but did play on special teams.

DEFENSE

Position Player Snaps
CB Sean Smith 62
CB Ron Parker 52
LB Josh Mauga 52
LB Justin Houston 52
S Husain Abdullah 52
CB Jamell Fleming 51
LB Tamba Hali 49
DE Allen Bailey 48
NT Dontari Poe 46
CB Phillip Gaines 34
LB James-Michael Johnson 28
S Kurt Coleman 23
DE Jaye Howard 17
DT Kevin Vickerson 7
DE Vance Walker 5
LB Josh Martin 3
S Kelcie McCray 2

  • Marcus Cooper was the Chiefs starting CB but he was replaced by Jamell Fleming last game. Cooper recorded no snaps on defense but had 18 on special teams.
  • Dee Ford had nine special teams snaps but no snaps on defense. I gotta admit, I thought Ford would be playing more than this even with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali ahead of him.
  • Props to Phillip Gaines with his best NFL game yet. With CB Chris Owens out, Gaines saw 34 snaps and did a nice job overall. I can think of a couple of his pass breakups before any glaring screwups. The Chiefs had at least three corners on the field for more than half the snaps.
  • The Chargers are a passing team so the Chiefs stayed away from Kevin Vickerson, the defensive tackle who is a good run blocker.
  • Jaye Howard, the other defensive end next to Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe in the base defense, played 17 snaps. That's usually a decent barometer of how often the Chiefs were in base defense.