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Chiefs-Broncos: Making sense of snap counts

Let’s see how the Chiefs used their players in the big win over the Broncos.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs went to 6-1 on the season with an overwhelming 43-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Let’s see how the Chiefs used their players in the win:


Starters (offensive): LT Eric Fisher, LG Nick Allegretti, WR Tyreek Hill, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Andrew Wylie, RT Mike Remmers, TE Travis Kelce, WR Demarcus Robinson, QB Patrick Mahomes, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire and TE Mecole Hardman.

Starters (defensive): LDT Chris Jones, RDT Derrick Nnadi, LDE Tanoh Kpassagnon, RDE Frank Clark, LLB Anthony Hitchens, RLB Damien Wilson, LCB Charvarius Ward, RCB Bashaud Breeland, S Daniel Sorensen, LB Willie Gay Jr. and SS Tyrann Mathieu.

Did not play: G Danny Isidora.

Inactive: WR Sammy Watkins, RB Darwin Thompson, LB Darius Harris, T Mitchell Schwartz, TE Ricky Seals-Jones and DE Taco Charlton.

Editor’s Note: Arrowhead Pride obtains snap count data from the NFL’s game stats and information system, which allows us to break out snap counts by run or pass on offensive and defensive plays. Because GSIS data ignores plays that were nullified by penalties, total offensive and defensive snap counts will vary from other sources, which get their data from NFL Gamebooks

Offense All Pass Run
Total 51
(100%)
29
(100%)
22
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 51
(100%)
29
(100%)
22
(100%)
Eric Fisher 51
(100%)
29
(100%)
22
(100%)
Mike Remmers 51
(100%)
29
(100%)
22
(100%)
Andrew Wylie 51
(100%)
29
(100%)
22
(100%)
Daniel Kilgore 41
(80%)
26
(90%)
15
(68%)
Patrick Mahomes 41
(80%)
26
(90%)
15
(68%)
Travis Kelce 40
(78%)
26
(90%)
14
(64%)
Tyreek Hill 37
(73%)
24
(83%)
13
(59%)
Demarcus Robinson 34
(67%)
22
(76%)
12
(55%)
Byron Pringle 31
(61%)
18
(62%)
13
(59%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 27
(53%)
15
(52%)
12
(55%)
Mecole Hardman 22
(43%)
11
(38%)
11
(50%)
Le'Veon Bell 17
(33%)
11
(38%)
6
(27%)
Deon Yelder 14
(27%)
5
(17%)
9
(41%)
Nick Keizer 12
(24%)
6
(21%)
6
(27%)
Chad Henne 10
(20%)
3
(10%)
7
(32%)
Austin Reiter 10
(20%)
3
(10%)
7
(32%)
DeAndre Washington 10
(20%)
3
(10%)
7
(32%)
Marcus Kemp 10
(20%)
3
(10%)
7
(32%)
Darrel Williams 1
(2%)
1
(3%)
0
(0%)

Offensive takeaways

The addition of running back Le’Veon Bell shook things up on the offense. Second-year running back Darwin Thompson was inactive for the first time this season, while Darrel Williams had his lowest use of the year. Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s use was also down, but that’s because he — along with a a number of other starters — came out in the fourth quarter; essentially, Bell took Williams’ snaps while pushing Thompson out of the game. And when the starters came out, it was DeAndre Washington — not Williams — who got them. It also appears that Washington took Thompson’s place on special teams.

The offensive players who came in at the end of the game are obvious; like quarterback Chad Henne, they all got 20% of the offensive snaps. Noteworthy among these was center Austin Reiter. The rest of the offensive line played the whole game.

Since he was one of the players who left in the fourth quarter, tight end Travis Kelce’s use dropped to its lowest point since Week 4 — and like in that game, he saw a significantly higher percentage of use in passing plays. Nick Keizer drew a lot of unwelcome attention after making some big mistakes — but other than a significant increase on special teams, his use remained pretty constant. Since he came in for Kelce in the fourth quarter, Deon Yelder had his greatest use of the season. It looks like Keizer has established himself as the blocking TE2, while Yelder is the backup TE1. But given Keizer’s mistakes in the game, that could change.

Wide receiver Byron Pringle had his greatest offensive use of the season, which was at the expense of Demarcus Robinson. Mecole Hardman stayed at Week 6’s lower level of use.

Defense All Pass Run
Total 76
(100%)
43
(100%)
33
(100%)
Bashaud Breeland 68
(89%)
37
(86%)
31
(94%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 65
(86%)
39
(91%)
26
(79%)
Charvarius Ward 63
(83%)
33
(77%)
30
(91%)
Tyrann Mathieu 59
(78%)
32
(74%)
27
(82%)
Damien Wilson 52
(68%)
24
(56%)
28
(85%)
Juan Thornhill 51
(67%)
31
(72%)
20
(61%)
Frank Clark 50
(66%)
28
(65%)
22
(67%)
Daniel Sorensen 49
(64%)
27
(63%)
22
(67%)
Tershawn Wharton 46
(61%)
30
(70%)
16
(48%)
Anthony Hitchens 44
(58%)
19
(44%)
25
(76%)
Chris Jones 40
(53%)
23
(53%)
17
(52%)
Willie Gay Jr. 38
(50%)
19
(44%)
19
(58%)
Demone Harris 38
(50%)
20
(47%)
18
(55%)
Ben Niemann 32
(42%)
24
(56%)
8
(24%)
Rashad Fenton 31
(41%)
23
(53%)
8
(24%)
Derrick Nnadi 25
(33%)
12
(28%)
13
(39%)
Mike Pennel 24
(32%)
9
(21%)
15
(45%)
Tedric Thompson 17
(22%)
11
(26%)
6
(18%)
Khalen Saunders 15
(20%)
10
(23%)
5
(15%)
Antonio Hamilton 13
(17%)
10
(23%)
3
(9%)
BoPete Keyes 8
(11%)
6
(14%)
2
(6%)
Armani Watts 8
(11%)
6
(14%)
2
(6%)

Defensive takeaways

As on offense, players like BoPete Keyes and Armani Watts had their first defensive snaps of the season.

Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. returned to the starting lineup — and to the level of use he had two weeks ago. As always, the snap counts for the other linebackers have fluctuated as defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has brought out different looks from game to game — and from play to play. Good luck figuring out what the defense is going to do on a given play.

With the defensive reserves coming onto the field in the fourth quarter, we didn’t see a repeat of last week, when Charvarius Ward, Bashaud Breeland, Juan Thornhill, Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen played every one of the defensive snaps. After being listed as a starting corner in Week 6, Sorenson started in place of Thornhill at safety — but through the game, the two were used equally often.

Along the defensive line, defensive end Demone Harris was active for the first time this season — and was on the field for 50% of the snaps. Defensive tackle Khalen Saunders had 20% of the defensive snaps in his return from injury. Looking at the other defensive tackles, we see what we see elsewhere in the defense: Spagnuolo is constantly switching things around to show different, unpredictable looks.

Special Teams Snaps
Total 30
(100%)
Antonio Hamilton 22
(73%)
Dorian O'Daniel 22
(73%)
Armani Watts 22
(73%)
Nick Keizer 21
(70%)
Willie Gay Jr. 19
(63%)
Marcus Kemp 19
(63%)
Harrison Butker 17
(57%)
Ben Niemann 13
(43%)
Daniel Sorensen 13
(43%)
BoPete Keyes 12
(40%)
DeAndre Washington 12
(40%)
Tommy Townsend 11
(37%)
James Winchester 11
(37%)
Deon Yelder 11
(37%)
Rashad Fenton 9
(30%)
Tedric Thompson 9
(30%)
Nick Allegretti 8
(27%)
Yasir Durant 8
(27%)
Eric Fisher 8
(27%)
Austin Reiter 8
(27%)
Mike Remmers 8
(27%)
Damien Wilson 8
(27%)
Andrew Wylie 8
(27%)
Mecole Hardman 7
(23%)
Byron Pringle 7
(23%)
Demarcus Robinson 4
(13%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 3
(10%)
Derrick Nnadi 3
(10%)
Mike Pennel 3
(10%)
Chris Jones 2
(7%)
Anthony Hitchens 1
(3%)
Tershawn Wharton 1
(3%)

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 51
(100%)
76
(100%)
30
(100%)
157
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 51
(100%)
0
(0%)
8
(27%)
59
(38%)
Le'Veon Bell 17
(33%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
17
(11%)
Bashaud Breeland 0
(0%)
68
(89%)
0
(0%)
68
(43%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
17
(57%)
17
(11%)
Frank Clark 0
(0%)
50
(66%)
0
(0%)
50
(32%)
Yasir Durant 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
8
(27%)
8
(5%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 27
(53%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
27
(17%)
Rashad Fenton 0
(0%)
31
(41%)
9
(30%)
40
(25%)
Eric Fisher 51
(100%)
0
(0%)
8
(27%)
59
(38%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
38
(50%)
19
(63%)
57
(36%)
Antonio Hamilton 0
(0%)
13
(17%)
22
(73%)
35
(22%)
Mecole Hardman 22
(43%)
0
(0%)
7
(23%)
29
(18%)
Demone Harris 0
(0%)
38
(50%)
0
(0%)
38
(24%)
Chad Henne 10
(20%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
10
(6%)
Tyreek Hill 37
(73%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
37
(24%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
44
(58%)
1
(3%)
45
(29%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
40
(53%)
2
(7%)
42
(27%)
Nick Keizer 12
(24%)
0
(0%)
21
(70%)
33
(21%)
Travis Kelce 40
(78%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
40
(25%)
BoPete Keyes 0
(0%)
8
(11%)
12
(40%)
20
(13%)
Daniel Kilgore 41
(80%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
41
(26%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 0
(0%)
65
(86%)
3
(10%)
68
(43%)
Patrick Mahomes 41
(80%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
41
(26%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
59
(78%)
0
(0%)
59
(38%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
32
(42%)
13
(43%)
45
(29%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
25
(33%)
3
(10%)
28
(18%)
Dorian O'Daniel 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
22
(73%)
22
(14%)
Mike Pennel 0
(0%)
24
(32%)
3
(10%)
27
(17%)
Byron Pringle 31
(61%)
0
(0%)
7
(23%)
38
(24%)
Austin Reiter 10
(20%)
0
(0%)
8
(27%)
18
(11%)
Mike Remmers 51
(100%)
0
(0%)
8
(27%)
59
(38%)
Demarcus Robinson 34
(67%)
0
(0%)
4
(13%)
38
(24%)
Khalen Saunders 0
(0%)
15
(20%)
0
(0%)
15
(10%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
49
(64%)
13
(43%)
62
(39%)
Tedric Thompson 0
(0%)
17
(22%)
9
(30%)
26
(17%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
51
(67%)
0
(0%)
51
(32%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
11
(37%)
11
(7%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
63
(83%)
0
(0%)
63
(40%)
DeAndre Washington 10
(20%)
0
(0%)
12
(40%)
22
(14%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
8
(11%)
22
(73%)
30
(19%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
46
(61%)
1
(3%)
47
(30%)
Darrel Williams 1
(2%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(1%)
Damien Wilson 0
(0%)
52
(68%)
8
(27%)
60
(38%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
11
(37%)
11
(7%)
Andrew Wylie 51
(100%)
0
(0%)
8
(27%)
59
(38%)
Deon Yelder 14
(27%)
0
(0%)
11
(37%)
25
(16%)
Marcus Kemp 10
(20%)
0
(0%)
19
(63%)
29
(18%)