The return of Eric Berry to the Kansas City Chiefs lineup included playing 51 of 69 defensive snaps. Berry, who had been out since injuring his ankle in Week 2, moved around quite in his role as the Chiefs safety but played mostly on passing downs that required another safety on the field.
The question entering the game was how the Chiefs would use Berry after they were playing so well with Ron Parker and Husain Abdullah at safety. For at least part of the time the Chiefs kept those two in at safety in the base defense and Phillip Gaines stepped in to play corner with Jamell Fleming out. The Chiefs brought Berry onto the field in nickel and dime situations where three safeties are used.
"The coach came up with a good plan for us," Berry said. "We've got a nice secondary; we've got a good rotation. So we just come in and handle business."
"They went into the subgroups, so we ended up playing a lot of nickel," Andy Reid said. "I thought it was important they he go back in and into the swing of things in particular the speed of the game and getting used to that again. I thought he played well for what I saw, it looked like he played well."
There were some interesting secondary alignments we'll get into but the big picture takeaway here is that the Chiefs are creating more options for themselves in the secondary.
Let's take a look at some snap counts.
- The life of Knile Davis. He goes from a game where he gets 16 carries to a game where he gets 10 total snaps. The Chiefs run quite a bit when he's in the game so maybe they don't have as much versatility with him when it comes to pass blocking.
- Donald Stephenson saw three snaps where the Chiefs brought in a third offensive tackle. I loved seeing them bring in a third tackle on a play at midfield and just watch Jamaal Charles crush through it.
- Nose tackle Dontari Poe played two snaps on offense -- both as the fullback. He blocked on the first play near the goal line which did not score a touchdown. The second play he blocked did score a touchdown. This isn't the first time he's played fullback.
- Junior Hemingway seems to see less and less snaps each week. I thought he would've been a better receiving option than AJ Jenkins, who was replacing Donnie Avery.
- One of Anthony Fasano's 56 snaps was this one.
- Give. Travis. Kelce. More. Snaps. The guy loves making first downs and scoring touchdowns. Let him eat!
- As noted above, the use of the Chiefs safeties and the secondary in general merits a closer look because there is some interesting and new stuff going on there with Fleming's injury and Berry's return.
- Jamell Fleming was out and it was not Ron Parker or Marcus Cooper who replaced him. It was rookie Phillip Gaines. You are seeing the rise of the rookie into the No. 2 corner right before our eyes. I remember saying before the season that his ceiling in year one would be the fourth cornerback. Oops.
- The Chiefs had a nice rotation of safeties in their secondary. Parker and Abdullah played every snap. Berry played 51 snaps while Coleman played 33 snaps. Berry came in on mostly passing situations. The question from here is whether he works his way back into his regular role or if the Chiefs are going to mix and match all year.
- Like the secondary, the Chiefs are developing a nice defensive line rotation too. Walker and Vickerson combined for nearly 20 snaps along the defensive line.
- Tamba Hali usually takes a handful of plays off each game but his backup Josh Martin was inactive.
- Dontari Poe took a few snaps off after playing offense.
- After his career-high in snaps last week (and a sack), Dee Ford did not play on defense in this game.