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Chiefs-Saints: Making sense of snap counts

Let’s see how the Chiefs used their players during Sunday’s victory over the Saints.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs faced one of their most challenging opponents of the season — and defeated the New Orleans Saints 32-29 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Let’s take a look at how the Chiefs made use of their players in the team’s 13th win.


Starters (offensive): WR Tyreek Hill, LT Eric Fisher, LG Nick Allegretti, C Austin Reiter, RG Stefen Wisniewski, RT Andrew Wylie, TE Travis Kelce, QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Sammy Watkins, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire and TE Nick Keizer.

Starters (defensive): LDE Tanoh Kpassagnon, LDT Chris Jones, RDT Derrick Nnadi, RDE Frank Clark, LB Anthony Hitchens, LB Ben Niemann, LCB Charvarius Ward, RCB Bashaud Breeland, CB L’Jarius Sneed, FS Daniel Sorensen and SS Tyrann Mathieu.

Did not play: QB Chad Henne, C Daniel Kilgore and T Martinas Rankin.

Inactive: CB BoPete Keyes, RB Darwin Thompson, LB Damien Wilson, T Mike Remmers, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, DE Tim Ward and DT Khalen Saunders.


Offensive takeaways


With Mike Remmers out for the game, the Chiefs kicked Andrew Wylie to the outside and put Stefen Wisniewski (who was moved from the practice squad to he active roster on Saturday) at right guard. Eric Fisher, Nick Allegretti, Austin Reiter, Wisniewski and Wylie played every offensive snap.

Tight end Travis Kelce’s use was a bit below where we normally see it. And with the re-worked offensive line, the Chiefs brought tight ends Nick Keizer or Deon Yelder on the field a bit more often.

At running back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire lost some snaps when he left after his late-game injury. But Le’Veon Bell and Darrel Williams had already been seeing more use in the game.

Among wide receivers, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman all saw usage within the ranges we have been seeing. Byron Pringle, however, saw more use on special teams than he’s had all season — and was on the field for only a small percentage of offensive plays.


Defensive takeaways


As usual, safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen played every defensive snap — and Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward were right behind them.

L’Jarius Sneed saw more use on both defense and special teams than he’s seen since Breeland missed the season’s opening games with a suspension. Rashad Fenton’s use continued to ping-pong, while Juan Thornhill’s declined only a bit — and on Sunday, Thornhill played almost exclusively on passing downs.

Cornerback Deandre Baker — elevated from the practice squad for this game — played only on special teams, where he was used on 21% of the plays.

At linebacker, there was little change from the Week 14 game against Miami. With Damien Wilson out, Ben Neimann again got most of the extra snaps, while Rookie Willie Gay Jr. was on the field for just 23% of the plays.

At defensive end, Frank Clark’s use remained within the normal range — as did Michael Danna and Tanoh Kpassagnon — while Alex Okafor’s use continued to rise steadily. He had a greater percentage of snaps than he’s seen all season.

On the defensive interior, Chris Jones remained the linchpin, while the use of run-stoppers Derrick Nnadi and Mike Pennel (and rookie pass-rusher Tershawn Wharton) continued to vary on a game-by-game basis.


Data


Offense

Offense All Pass Run
Total 93
(100%)
52
(100%)
41
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 93
(100%)
52
(100%)
41
(100%)
Eric Fisher 93
(100%)
52
(100%)
41
(100%)
Patrick Mahomes 93
(100%)
52
(100%)
41
(100%)
Austin Reiter 93
(100%)
52
(100%)
41
(100%)
Stefen Wisniewski 93
(100%)
52
(100%)
41
(100%)
Andrew Wylie 93
(100%)
52
(100%)
41
(100%)
Tyreek Hill 80
(86%)
45
(87%)
35
(85%)
Sammy Watkins 75
(81%)
43
(83%)
32
(78%)
Travis Kelce 73
(78%)
47
(90%)
26
(63%)
Demarcus Robinson 47
(51%)
31
(60%)
16
(39%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 42
(45%)
24
(46%)
18
(44%)
Nick Keizer 32
(34%)
9
(17%)
23
(56%)
Le'Veon Bell 30
(32%)
13
(25%)
17
(41%)
Mecole Hardman 30
(32%)
24
(46%)
6
(15%)
Darrel Williams 21
(23%)
15
(29%)
6
(15%)
Deon Yelder 19
(20%)
5
(10%)
14
(34%)
Anthony Sherman 10
(11%)
1
(2%)
9
(22%)
Byron Pringle 6
(6%)
3
(6%)
3
(7%)

Defense

Defense All Pass Run
Total 53
(100%)
36
(100%)
17
(100%)
Tyrann Mathieu 53
(100%)
36
(100%)
17
(100%)
Daniel Sorensen 53
(100%)
36
(100%)
17
(100%)
Bashaud Breeland 51
(96%)
35
(97%)
16
(94%)
Charvarius Ward 50
(94%)
35
(97%)
15
(88%)
L'Jarius Sneed 49
(92%)
35
(97%)
14
(82%)
Ben Niemann 45
(85%)
31
(86%)
14
(82%)
Frank Clark 42
(79%)
30
(83%)
12
(71%)
Chris Jones 36
(68%)
26
(72%)
10
(59%)
Anthony Hitchens 31
(58%)
15
(42%)
16
(94%)
Alex Okafor 30
(57%)
23
(64%)
7
(41%)
Tershawn Wharton 27
(51%)
22
(61%)
5
(29%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 26
(49%)
16
(44%)
10
(59%)
Derrick Nnadi 24
(45%)
12
(33%)
12
(71%)
Juan Thornhill 22
(42%)
21
(58%)
1
(6%)
Mike Pennel 16
(30%)
7
(19%)
9
(53%)
Michael Danna 13
(25%)
8
(22%)
5
(29%)
Willie Gay Jr. 12
(23%)
6
(17%)
6
(35%)
Rashad Fenton 3
(6%)
2
(6%)
1
(6%)

Special Teams

Special Teams Snaps
Total 34
(100%)
Antonio Hamilton 30
(88%)
Armani Watts 30
(88%)
Byron Pringle 26
(76%)
Anthony Sherman 22
(65%)
Nick Keizer 21
(62%)
Willie Gay Jr. 20
(59%)
Darius Harris 19
(56%)
Rashad Fenton 17
(50%)
Mecole Hardman 16
(47%)
Daniel Sorensen 16
(47%)
Emmanuel Smith 16
(47%)
Ben Niemann 14
(41%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 12
(35%)
Juan Thornhill 11
(32%)
Tommy Townsend 11
(32%)
Harrison Butker 10
(29%)
James Winchester 10
(29%)
L'Jarius Sneed 9
(26%)
Deon Yelder 8
(24%)
Deandre Baker 7
(21%)
Darryl Williams 5
(15%)
Nick Allegretti 4
(12%)
Michael Danna 4
(12%)
Yasir Durant 4
(12%)
Eric Fisher 4
(12%)
Mike Pennel 4
(12%)
Austin Reiter 4
(12%)
Stefen Wisniewski 4
(12%)
Andrew Wylie 4
(12%)
Anthony Hitchens 3
(9%)
Derrick Nnadi 3
(9%)
Tershawn Wharton 3
(9%)
Demarcus Robinson 2
(6%)

All Snaps

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 93
(100%)
53
(100%)
34
(100%)
180
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 93
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(12%)
97
(54%)
Le'Veon Bell 30
(32%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
30
(17%)
Bashaud Breeland 0
(0%)
51
(96%)
0
(0%)
51
(28%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
10
(29%)
10
(6%)
Frank Clark 0
(0%)
42
(79%)
0
(0%)
42
(23%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
13
(25%)
4
(12%)
17
(9%)
Yasir Durant 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
4
(12%)
4
(2%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 42
(45%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
42
(23%)
Rashad Fenton 0
(0%)
3
(6%)
17
(50%)
20
(11%)
Eric Fisher 93
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(12%)
97
(54%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
12
(23%)
20
(59%)
32
(18%)
Antonio Hamilton 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
30
(88%)
30
(17%)
Mecole Hardman 30
(32%)
0
(0%)
16
(47%)
46
(26%)
Darius Harris 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
19
(56%)
19
(11%)
Tyreek Hill 80
(86%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
80
(44%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
31
(58%)
3
(9%)
34
(19%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
36
(68%)
0
(0%)
36
(20%)
Nick Keizer 32
(34%)
0
(0%)
21
(62%)
53
(29%)
Travis Kelce 73
(78%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
73
(41%)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 0
(0%)
26
(49%)
12
(35%)
38
(21%)
Patrick Mahomes 93
(100%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
93
(52%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
53
(100%)
0
(0%)
53
(29%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
45
(85%)
14
(41%)
59
(33%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
24
(45%)
3
(9%)
27
(15%)
Alex Okafor 0
(0%)
30
(57%)
0
(0%)
30
(17%)
Mike Pennel 0
(0%)
16
(30%)
4
(12%)
20
(11%)
Byron Pringle 6
(6%)
0
(0%)
26
(76%)
32
(18%)
Austin Reiter 93
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(12%)
97
(54%)
Demarcus Robinson 47
(51%)
0
(0%)
2
(6%)
49
(27%)
Anthony Sherman 10
(11%)
0
(0%)
22
(65%)
32
(18%)
L'Jarius Sneed 0
(0%)
49
(92%)
9
(26%)
58
(32%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
53
(100%)
16
(47%)
69
(38%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
22
(42%)
11
(32%)
33
(18%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
11
(32%)
11
(6%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
50
(94%)
0
(0%)
50
(28%)
Sammy Watkins 75
(81%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
75
(42%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
30
(88%)
30
(17%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
27
(51%)
3
(9%)
30
(17%)
Darrel Williams 21
(23%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
21
(12%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
10
(29%)
10
(6%)
Stefen Wisniewski 93
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(12%)
97
(54%)
Andrew Wylie 93
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(12%)
97
(54%)
Deon Yelder 19
(20%)
0
(0%)
8
(24%)
27
(15%)
Deandre Baker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
7
(21%)
7
(4%)
Emmanuel Smith 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
16
(47%)
16
(9%)
Darryl Williams 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
5
(15%)
5
(3%)

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