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How the Chiefs rotated Justin Houston, Dee Ford and the pass rushers

Reviewing the snap counts from the KC Chiefs 29-28 win over the Falcons...


QB Alex Smith: 49

The Chiefs had 49 offensive snaps compared to the Falcons 74 snaps. So, the Falcons ran 25 more plays than the Chiefs ... and the Chiefs won.

Offensive line

C Mitch Morse: 49

G Zach Fulton: 49

G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif: 49

OT Eric Fisher: 49

OT Mitch Schwartz: 49

OT Jah Reid: 6

The Chiefs gave up one sack in this game. A big improvement over six last week against Denver. I like Jah Reid coming in as the sixth lineman (or extra tight end on one play, I believe) in heavy situations. Same with Anthony Sherman coming in. Who cares if they know what you’re going to do ... line up and get it.

Wide receiver

WR Chris Conley: 42

WR Albert Wilson: 36

WR Tyreek Hill: 25

WR De’Anthony Thomas: 7

Chris Conley had 85 snaps last week, Albert Wilson had 58 and Tyreek Hill had 57. This is a nice drop in work with the Thursday night game coming up on a short week. I wonder if that was intentional or just how the game played out. Also, Conley is due for a good game. He’s been quiet after getting a couple of targets against the Falcons.

Tight end

TE Travis Kelce: 39

TE Demetrius Harris: 31

TE James O’Shaughnessy: 3

I would expect another big game from both tight ends this week against Oakland. The Chiefs ran quite a few two tight end sets against the Raiders last time around (Demetrius Harris had 36 snaps in that game). They need to be ready for another heavy workload.

Running back

RB Spencer Ware: 38

RB Charcandrick West: 11

FB Anthony Sherman: 7

The Chiefs need to get Spencer Ware going. He was on a tear before his concussion and hasn’t found his rhythm since then. I can understand some of the lack of touches in this game because the Chiefs were moving the ball through the air so well.


LB Derrick Johnson: 74

LB Justin Houston: 46

LB Frank Zombo: 41

LB Ramik Wilson: 40

LB Tamba Hali: 35

LB Dee Ford: 27

Here’s your pass rusher rotation. Note that Dee Ford and Justin Houston were both questionable coming into the game. With those injuries and the short week, this rotation was likely thought out pretty well. The Chiefs don’t want to over work Houston in his third game back and they want Ford to stay healthy for the Raiders game. Against Oakland this week I would like to see Houston and Ford / Tamba leading the pass rushers in snaps.


S Eric Berry: 74

S Ron Parker: 74

S Daniel Sorensen: 34

S Eric Murray: 2

Eric Berry, man. Eric Berry.


CB Marcus Peters: 74

CB Steven Nelson: 73

CB Terrance Mitchell: 36

No DJ White, huh? The Chiefs rookie has had some ups and downs but to not get any offensive snaps is a little odd. Mitchell, if you’re not familiar, was from the practice squad recently. He was signed this season.

Defensive line

NT Dontari Poe: 48

DE Chris Jones: 43

NT Rakeem Nunez-Roches: 38

DE Kendall Reyes: 20

DE TJ Barnes: 18

DE Jarvis Jenkins: 17

Like the pass rushers, I really like this rotation. Look how deep they go. Their sixth defensive lineman is getting 17 snaps. Poe and Reyes were both questionable enteirng the game. For Poe to not practice all week and then play almost every snap? Damn. Imagine this line if Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey weren’t on IR. Barnes was promoted from the practice squad this week so I’m a little surprised he saw that much work.

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