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Chiefs-Jets: Making sense of snap counts

How did the Chiefs use their players in the big Week 8 win over the Jets?

NFL: New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs put the hammer down in a 35-9 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. Let’s take a look at how the team used their players in the Week 8 victory.


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

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

Did not play: None

Inactive: WR Sammy Watkins, RB DeAndre Washington, LB Darius Harris, DE Demone Harris, T Mitchell Schwartz, TE Ricky Seals-Jones and DT Khalen Saunders.

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 66
(100%)
46
(100%)
20
(100%)
Eric Fisher 66
(100%)
46
(100%)
20
(100%)
Mike Remmers 66
(100%)
46
(100%)
20
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 64
(97%)
45
(98%)
19
(95%)
Daniel Kilgore 64
(97%)
45
(98%)
19
(95%)
Andrew Wylie 64
(97%)
45
(98%)
19
(95%)
Patrick Mahomes 54
(82%)
42
(91%)
12
(60%)
Tyreek Hill 50
(76%)
40
(87%)
10
(50%)
Travis Kelce 50
(76%)
39
(85%)
11
(55%)
Mecole Hardman 45
(68%)
31
(67%)
14
(70%)
Byron Pringle 37
(56%)
24
(52%)
13
(65%)
Demarcus Robinson 36
(55%)
28
(61%)
8
(40%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 33
(50%)
27
(59%)
6
(30%)
Nick Keizer 19
(29%)
10
(22%)
9
(45%)
Le'Veon Bell 17
(26%)
11
(24%)
6
(30%)
Deon Yelder 16
(24%)
9
(20%)
7
(35%)
Chad Henne 12
(18%)
4
(9%)
8
(40%)
Marcus Kemp 12
(18%)
4
(9%)
8
(40%)
Darrel Williams 8
(12%)
4
(9%)
4
(20%)
Darwin Thompson 7
(11%)
3
(7%)
4
(20%)
Yasir Durant 2
(3%)
1
(2%)
1
(5%)
Austin Reiter 2
(3%)
1
(2%)
1
(5%)
Danny Isidora 2
(3%)
1
(2%)
1
(5%)

Offensive takeaways

As we saw in the Week 7 win against the Denver Broncos, some reserve players made it onto the field for some offensive snaps in the fourth quarter. Players like offensive linemen Yasir Durant and Danny Isidora had their first offensive snaps of the season — albeit just a few.

Among the offensive skill players, the Chiefs spread out the snaps a bit more than usual throughout the game. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had his lowest percentage of use this season — and for the first time, was used on a higher percentage of passing plays. His remaining rushing snaps went to Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson.

There was a similar pattern among the wide receivers. Tyreek Hill was used in a greater percentage of passing plays than usual and Mecole Hardman was used more often than he has been since the Week 5 game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Meanwhile, Demarcus Robinson’s use declined for the second-straight week — and the reserves took up the slack. Both Byron Pringle (listed as a starter for the first time in his career) and Marcus Kemp (who was elevated from the practice squad for the game) were used more often than we have generally observed.

Defense All Pass Run
Total 56
(100%)
31
(100%)
25
(100%)
Bashaud Breeland 53
(95%)
31
(100%)
22
(88%)
Tyrann Mathieu 53
(95%)
31
(100%)
22
(88%)
Daniel Sorensen 53
(95%)
31
(100%)
22
(88%)
Charvarius Ward 53
(95%)
31
(100%)
22
(88%)
Juan Thornhill 47
(84%)
29
(94%)
18
(72%)
Chris Jones 41
(73%)
25
(81%)
16
(64%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 40
(71%)
24
(77%)
16
(64%)
Frank Clark 38
(68%)
25
(81%)
13
(52%)
Anthony Hitchens 33
(59%)
17
(55%)
16
(64%)
Damien Wilson 33
(59%)
17
(55%)
16
(64%)
Tershawn Wharton 31
(55%)
19
(61%)
12
(48%)
Michael Danna 24
(43%)
9
(29%)
15
(60%)
Rashad Fenton 23
(41%)
14
(45%)
9
(36%)
Ben Niemann 23
(41%)
14
(45%)
9
(36%)
Derrick Nnadi 20
(36%)
11
(35%)
9
(36%)
Mike Pennel 18
(32%)
6
(19%)
12
(48%)
Taco Charlton 12
(21%)
5
(16%)
7
(28%)
Willie Gay Jr. 9
(16%)
2
(6%)
7
(28%)
Antonio Hamilton 3
(5%)
0
(0%)
3
(12%)
BoPete Keyes 3
(5%)
0
(0%)
3
(12%)
Tedric Thompson 3
(5%)
0
(0%)
3
(12%)
Armani Watts 3
(5%)
0
(0%)
3
(12%)

Defensive takeaways

Mainstay defensive players also got a breather during garbage time. As usual, the quartet of Bashaud Breeland, Charvarius Ward, Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorenson played 95% of the snaps. But even though Sorensen started the game at safety, Juan Thornhill was on the field for 84% of the defensive snaps — with a bit of an emphasis on passing downs.

Fans are understandably anxious to see more of second-round rookie Willie Gay Jr. — but with half of the season’s games in the books, it appears defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is focusing on using Gay when it best suits the game plan he has in mind. With a total of 25 points allowed in the last two games, it’s hard to argue against his strategy. It seems more and more likely that Gay will eventually be an every-down linebacker for the team — but for the moment, the Chiefs appear content to use him this way.

Up front, starting defensive ends Frank Clark and Tanoh Kpassagnon held down most of the snaps — although for the first time in weeks, both saw more use in passing downs.

Behind them, Michael Danna and Taco Charlton returned to their typical usage.

Along the interior, starter Chris Jones was back to a typical use pattern, while the other starter Derrick Nnadi had as little time as he’s seen since Week 1.

But that’s where Tershawn Wharton and Mike Pennel came in. Wharton — an undrafted free agent — appears to have earned a spot in the rotation. We’ll see if the pattern continues.

Special Teams Snaps
Total 28
(100%)
Antonio Hamilton 23
(82%)
Ben Niemann 23
(82%)
Dorian O'Daniel 23
(82%)
Armani Watts 23
(82%)
Marcus Kemp 19
(68%)
Daniel Sorensen 17
(61%)
Nick Keizer 15
(54%)
Willie Gay Jr. 13
(46%)
Harrison Butker 11
(39%)
BoPete Keyes 11
(39%)
Darwin Thompson 10
(36%)
Damien Wilson 10
(36%)
Mecole Hardman 9
(32%)
Tommy Townsend 9
(32%)
James Winchester 9
(32%)
Deon Yelder 9
(32%)
Byron Pringle 8
(29%)
Rashad Fenton 6
(21%)
Tedric Thompson 6
(21%)
Nick Allegretti 5
(18%)
Yasir Durant 5
(18%)
Eric Fisher 5
(18%)
Austin Reiter 5
(18%)
Mike Remmers 5
(18%)
Demarcus Robinson 5
(18%)
Andrew Wylie 5
(18%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 4
(14%)
Derrick Nnadi 4
(14%)
Mike Pennel 4
(14%)
Anthony Hitchens 3
(11%)
Chris Jones 2
(7%)
Tershawn Wharton 2
(7%)

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 66
(100%)
56
(100%)
28
(100%)
150
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 64
(97%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
69
(46%)
Le'Veon Bell 17
(26%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
17
(11%)
Bashaud Breeland 0
(0%)
53
(95%)
0
(0%)
53
(35%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
11
(39%)
11
(7%)
Taco Charlton 0
(0%)
12
(21%)
0
(0%)
12
(8%)
Frank Clark 0
(0%)
38
(68%)
0
(0%)
38
(25%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
24
(43%)
0
(0%)
24
(16%)
Yasir Durant 2
(3%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
7
(5%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 33
(50%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
33
(22%)
Rashad Fenton 0
(0%)
23
(41%)
6
(21%)
29
(19%)
Eric Fisher 66
(100%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
71
(47%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
9
(16%)
13
(46%)
22
(15%)
Antonio Hamilton 0
(0%)
3
(5%)
23
(82%)
26
(17%)
Mecole Hardman 45
(68%)
0
(0%)
9
(32%)
54
(36%)
Chad Henne 12
(18%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
12
(8%)
Tyreek Hill 50
(76%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
50
(33%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
33
(59%)
3
(11%)
36
(24%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
41
(73%)
2
(7%)
43
(29%)
Nick Keizer 19
(29%)
0
(0%)
15
(54%)
34
(23%)
Travis Kelce 50
(76%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
50
(33%)
BoPete Keyes 0
(0%)
3
(5%)
11
(39%)
14
(9%)
Daniel Kilgore 64
(97%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
64
(43%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 0
(0%)
40
(71%)
4
(14%)
44
(29%)
Patrick Mahomes 54
(82%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
54
(36%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
53
(95%)
0
(0%)
53
(35%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
23
(41%)
23
(82%)
46
(31%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
20
(36%)
4
(14%)
24
(16%)
Dorian O'Daniel 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
23
(82%)
23
(15%)
Mike Pennel 0
(0%)
18
(32%)
4
(14%)
22
(15%)
Byron Pringle 37
(56%)
0
(0%)
8
(29%)
45
(30%)
Austin Reiter 2
(3%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
7
(5%)
Mike Remmers 66
(100%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
71
(47%)
Demarcus Robinson 36
(55%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
41
(27%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
53
(95%)
17
(61%)
70
(47%)
Darwin Thompson 7
(11%)
0
(0%)
10
(36%)
17
(11%)
Tedric Thompson 0
(0%)
3
(5%)
6
(21%)
9
(6%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
47
(84%)
0
(0%)
47
(31%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(32%)
9
(6%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
53
(95%)
0
(0%)
53
(35%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
3
(5%)
23
(82%)
26
(17%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
31
(55%)
2
(7%)
33
(22%)
Darrel Williams 8
(12%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
8
(5%)
Damien Wilson 0
(0%)
33
(59%)
10
(36%)
43
(29%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(32%)
9
(6%)
Andrew Wylie 64
(97%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
69
(46%)
Deon Yelder 16
(24%)
0
(0%)
9
(32%)
25
(17%)
Danny Isidora 2
(3%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2
(1%)
Marcus Kemp 12
(18%)
0
(0%)
19
(68%)
31
(21%)