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Chiefs' Travis Kelce played more than you think vs. Bills; Eric Berry played every snap

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Updating the Chiefs snap counts form their 17-13 victory over the Bills.

Tom Szczerbowski

It's fun to look at the snap counts after the game and confirm what you thought you saw. Sometimes, though, you learn you were wrong. For example, it felt like Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce hardly played in this game. But he actually played 40 of the 60 snaps, according to the NFL's snap counts. That's about 67 percent of the snaps which is a higher percentage than he's been playing on average to date (about 50 percent). I would've guessed he had like 15 snaps because we just didn't hear from him hardly at all on the day.

Kelce did have one very important catch. Facing a 3rd-and-8 with over two minutes left as the Chiefs were trying to run out the clock. Alex Smith hit Kelce for a 13-yard gain, his second catch of the day and a first down for the Chiefs that helped run the clock down to the two-minute warning.

Another notable snap count here is Joe Mays, who played zero snaps on defense but did play on special teams. Mays has been out all year with a wrist injury and was just activated on Saturday. The Chiefs are obviously working him back in but with the way the defense has played they can be patient bringing him back.

Here are the Chiefs snap counts for the Bills game, along with my observations. Note that this does not include special teams snaps.

OFFENSE

Position Player Snaps
C Rodney Hudson 60
G Zach Fulton 60
G Mike McGlynn 60
OT Eric Fisher 60
OT Ryan Harris 60
QB Alex Smith 60
WR Dwayne Bowe 56
TE Anthony Fasano 46
RB Jamaal Charles 44
TE Travis Kelce 40
WR AJ Jenkins 40
WR Junior Hemingway 20
FB Anthony Sherman 17
RB De'Anthony Thomas 15
RB Knile Davis 12
WR Frankie Hammond 8
OT Donald Stephenson 1
RB Cyrus Gray 1

  • Jamaal Charles suffered a stinger in the game. He's fine. But that's why he missed some snaps, with Knile Davis stepping in for him.
  • Dwayne Bowe had his best game of the season with eight catches for 93 yards. He was the only offensive option there for a while.
  • Cyrus Gray and Demetrius Harris were injured in the game. Gray is out for the year with a torn ACL while Harris is out multiple weeks with a broken foot.
  • Just one snap for Donald Stephenson. He has yet to win his job back after his four-game suspension to start the season.
  • Knile Davis was pretty ineffective in his limited duty. He had four carries for one yard. Jamaal Charles was bottled up well outside of a couple of big runs (which helped the Chiefs win the game). Davis also fumbled once which was tough to see.
  • De'Anthony Thomas played 15 snaps but had just one offensive touch (rush for three yards). The Chiefs could stand to work him in more, especially in a game like this where you needed a spark.

DEFENSE

Position Player Snaps
CB Ron Parker 73
CB Sean Smith 73
LB Justin Houston 73
LB Josh Mauga 73
LB Tamba Hali 73
S Eric Berry 73
S Husain Abdullah 71
NT Dontari Poe 69
DE Allen Bailey 63
CB Chris Owens 56
LB James-Michael Johnson 30
S Kurt Coleman 27
DE Jaye Howard 24
DT Kevin Vickerson 11
DE Vance Walker 8
S Kelcie McCray 4
LB Dee Ford 2

  • Eric Berry plays every single snap in his second week back from injury. So I'd say he's back.
  • Ron Parker played corner much of the day covering Sammy Watkins. He was playing safety when Berry was out. Parker's versatility is coming up huge for the Chiefs.
  • Phillip Gaines did not have any snaps on defense, just special teams. He was questionable entering the game so I wouldn't be surprised if injuries played a role.
  • The Chiefs were in a lot of passing situations. Chris Owens, who was hurt since the 49ers game in Week 5, played 56 snaps. The Chiefs had a third safety (Kurt Coleman) on the field on a third of the plays.
  • Tamba Hali played every snap which is not ideal at his age. Earlier in the year the Chiefs had been giving him some snaps off but with his backup Josh Martin injured there is no good option for giving Hali a breather.
  • The same goes for Dontari Poe: he played all but four snaps. Ideally you want to get him some more rest, especially as we come up on the second half of the season.
  • Dee Ford: two snaps!