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Chiefs-Packers snap counts: Chris Jones back to the inside; Ingram used heavily

Let’s see how Kansas City used its players in the win against Green Bay.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Green Bay packers 13-7 on Sunday, moving their season record to 5-4.

Here’s how the Chiefs used their players in their Week 9 win.


Starters (offensive): TE Travis Kelce, WR Tyreek Hill, LT Orlando Brown Jr., LG Joe Thuney, C Creed Humphrey, RG Trey Smith, RT Lucas Niang, WR Mecole Hardman, WR Josh Gordon, QB Patrick Mahomes and RB Darrel Williams.

Starters (defensive): LDE Michael Danna, LDT Chris Jones, RDT Jarran Reed, RDE Frank Clark, LB Willie Gay Jr., LB Anthony Hitchens, LB Nick Bolton, LCB Charvarius Ward, RCB L’Jarius Sneed, S Juan Thornhill and S Tyrann Mathieu.

Did not play: QB Chad Henne and OL Austin Blythe.

Inactive: CB Deandre Baker, T Prince Tega Wanogho, T Mike Remmers, TE Daniel Brown and DT Khalen Saunders.


Offensive takeaways


Except for starter Lucas Niang leaving the game with an injury after just a dozen snaps, the whole offensive line played every snap. Andrew Wylie came in for the rest of the snaps at right tackle, alongside left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., left guard Joe Thuney, center Creed Humphrey and right guard Trey Smith. Among the reserves, Nick Allegretti had his usual special teams snaps and Austin Blythe remained on the sideline — while Mike Remmers (out with a knee injury) and Prince Tega Wanogho were inactive for the game.

At tight end, Travis Kelce’s use remained steady — although he had the greatest variation between running and passing plays we’ve seen this season. In fact, he was on the field for every passing play. Meanwhile, Blake Bell’s usage was as high as all season — with an inverse emphasis on running versus passing plays — while rookie Noah Gray found a new low in offensive usage. It does appear, however, that Gray has become a significant special-teams player.

We’ve rarely highlighted the usage of fullback Michael Burton, because it’s been a consistently small percentage of offensive snaps. But against Green Bay, his use was about three times higher than we typically see — and tilted strongly towards running plays.

All three Kansas City running backs appear to settling into normal ranges of use. But on Sunday, Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon showed marked tendencies toward running or passing. Like Kelce, Williams showed the season’s greatest variance — in his case, weighted significantly toward running plays — while McKinnon continued his recent pattern of appearing in passing plays more frequently.

We’ve often noted that when running backs are divided fairly equally between running and passing plays, it suggests the team is comfortable using them in pass protection. But Sunday’s wide variance — particularly when combined with the patterns we saw among the tight ends and fullback — suggests that against the Packers, the Chiefs might have been telegraphing play types based on personnel.

At wide receiver, Tyreek Hill continued trending towards what we would consider to be a normal use pattern. Mecole Hardman was back in his normal range after a dip against the New York Giants, while Byron Pringle dropped a little from his season-high against New York. Demarcus Robinson’s use continued its nosedive.

And then there’s Josh Gordon, who recorded his second start of the season on Sunday. Unlike his first start against the Tennessee Titans, his use at least reflected his status as a starter — but his production remained flat. He was targeted only once — and failed to make the catch. For those keeping track at home, that’s two starts in five games. He’s now had 77 snaps, resulting in four targets for one reception of 11 yards.


Defensive takeaways


With all its starters finally healthy, the back end of the Kansas City secondary was back to a normal usage pattern against Green Bay. Starting safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill — along with along with starting cornerbacks L’Jarius Sneed and Charvarius Ward — were on the field for all (or virtually all) of the defensive snaps. Safety Daniel Sorensen has settled into what looks like a normal range since Thornhill moved into a primary role as the second safety. Meanwhile, Rashad Fenton continues to come in as the other outside corner when Sneed drops into the slot — and Mike Hughes’ use on defense has become negligible.

At linebacker, Anthony Hitchens returned after missing two games with a triceps injury, accumulating a below-normal percentage of snaps as he is worked back into the lineup. Much has been made about Nick Bolton being used so little on Sunday — and in fact, he saw his lowest use of the season — but it was exactly what we would expect from defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. At the same time, it now looks as we can expect to see Willie Gay Jr. on the field for the majority of defensive snaps — he seems to be settling into a range of 60-70% — while Ben Niemann had his second-lowest use of the season. He remains the only linebacker who is featured more prominently on passing downs.

Among the edge rushers, Frank Clark — now fully healthy — saw his highest use of the season, while Chris Jones saw use on the low side of his normal range. For the first time since Week 2, Jones was used substantially more often on passing downs. Newbie Melvin Ingram was put right to work — more often against the pass — on nearly half of the defensive snaps. This mean that both Mike Danna and Alex Okafor’s use continued to trend downward.

But even with Khalen Saunders out for another week, two of the remaining defensive tackles — Jarran Reed and Derrick Nnadi — saw their use decrease, while Tershawn Wharton’s remained steady. Why? Because Jones’ use on the interior continued to increase. For the first time this season, he played more than half of his snaps (64%) on the inside, per Pro Football Focus.


Data


Offense

Offense All Pass Run
Total 63
(100%)
38
(100%)
25
(100%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 63
(100%)
38
(100%)
25
(100%)
Creed Humphrey 63
(100%)
38
(100%)
25
(100%)
Patrick Mahomes 63
(100%)
38
(100%)
25
(100%)
Trey Smith 63
(100%)
38
(100%)
25
(100%)
Joe Thuney 63
(100%)
38
(100%)
25
(100%)
Travis Kelce 54
(86%)
38
(100%)
16
(64%)
Tyreek Hill 52
(83%)
31
(82%)
21
(84%)
Andrew Wylie 51
(81%)
31
(82%)
20
(80%)
Mecole Hardman 40
(63%)
27
(71%)
13
(52%)
Darrel Williams 35
(56%)
16
(42%)
19
(76%)
Byron Pringle 28
(44%)
22
(58%)
6
(24%)
Blake Bell 26
(41%)
9
(24%)
17
(68%)
Josh Gordon 19
(30%)
11
(29%)
8
(32%)
Jerick McKinnon 18
(29%)
15
(39%)
3
(12%)
Demarcus Robinson 14
(22%)
9
(24%)
5
(20%)
Lucas Niang 12
(19%)
7
(18%)
5
(20%)
Derrick Gore 10
(16%)
7
(18%)
3
(12%)
Michael Burton 9
(14%)
2
(5%)
7
(28%)
Noah Gray 7
(11%)
2
(5%)
5
(20%)
Marcus Kemp 3
(5%)
1
(3%)
2
(8%)

Defense

Defense All Pass Run
Total 60
(100%)
35
(100%)
25
(100%)
Tyrann Mathieu 60
(100%)
35
(100%)
25
(100%)
Juan Thornhill 60
(100%)
35
(100%)
25
(100%)
Charvarius Ward 60
(100%)
35
(100%)
25
(100%)
L'Jarius Sneed 58
(97%)
34
(97%)
24
(96%)
Frank Clark 54
(90%)
33
(94%)
21
(84%)
Rashad Fenton 43
(72%)
30
(86%)
13
(52%)
Chris Jones 42
(70%)
29
(83%)
13
(52%)
Willie Gay Jr. 38
(63%)
16
(46%)
22
(88%)
Jarran Reed 37
(62%)
23
(66%)
14
(56%)
Anthony Hitchens 29
(48%)
11
(31%)
18
(72%)
Melvin Ingram 28
(47%)
21
(60%)
7
(28%)
Ben Niemann 25
(42%)
21
(60%)
4
(16%)
Nick Bolton 24
(40%)
8
(23%)
16
(64%)
Tershawn Wharton 23
(38%)
11
(31%)
12
(48%)
Daniel Sorensen 22
(37%)
19
(54%)
3
(12%)
Michael Danna 20
(33%)
8
(23%)
12
(48%)
Alex Okafor 19
(32%)
8
(23%)
11
(44%)
Derrick Nnadi 17
(28%)
7
(20%)
10
(40%)
Mike Hughes 1
(2%)
1
(3%)
0
(0%)

Special Teams

Special Teams Snaps
Total 22
(100%)
Noah Gray 19
(86%)
Marcus Kemp 19
(86%)
Ben Niemann 19
(86%)
Dorian O'Daniel 19
(86%)
Chris Lammons 18
(82%)
Armani Watts 18
(82%)
Michael Burton 12
(55%)
Mike Hughes 11
(50%)
Tommy Townsend 9
(41%)
James Winchester 9
(41%)
Harrison Butker 7
(32%)
Willie Gay Jr. 6
(27%)
Byron Pringle 6
(27%)
Daniel Sorensen 6
(27%)
Darrel Williams 6
(27%)
Blake Bell 5
(23%)
Mecole Hardman 5
(23%)
Jerick McKinnon 5
(23%)
Rashad Fenton 4
(18%)
L'Jarius Sneed 4
(18%)
Nick Allegretti 3
(14%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 3
(14%)
Michael Danna 3
(14%)
Anthony Hitchens 3
(14%)
Creed Humphrey 3
(14%)
Derrick Nnadi 3
(14%)
Alex Okafor 3
(14%)
Trey Smith 3
(14%)
Joe Thuney 3
(14%)
Tershawn Wharton 3
(14%)
Andrew Wylie 3
(14%)
Derrick Gore 1
(5%)
Demarcus Robinson 1
(5%)

All Snaps

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 63
(100%)
60
(100%)
22
(100%)
145
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
3
(2%)
Blake Bell 26
(41%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
31
(21%)
Nick Bolton 0
(0%)
24
(40%)
0
(0%)
24
(17%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 63
(100%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
66
(46%)
Michael Burton 9
(14%)
0
(0%)
12
(55%)
21
(14%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
7
(32%)
7
(5%)
Frank Clark 0
(0%)
54
(90%)
0
(0%)
54
(37%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
20
(33%)
3
(14%)
23
(16%)
Rashad Fenton 0
(0%)
43
(72%)
4
(18%)
47
(32%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
38
(63%)
6
(27%)
44
(30%)
Josh Gordon 19
(30%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
19
(13%)
Derrick Gore 10
(16%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
11
(8%)
Noah Gray 7
(11%)
0
(0%)
19
(86%)
26
(18%)
Mecole Hardman 40
(63%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
45
(31%)
Tyreek Hill 52
(83%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
52
(36%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
29
(48%)
3
(14%)
32
(22%)
Mike Hughes 0
(0%)
1
(2%)
11
(50%)
12
(8%)
Creed Humphrey 63
(100%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
66
(46%)
Melvin Ingram 0
(0%)
28
(47%)
0
(0%)
28
(19%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
42
(70%)
0
(0%)
42
(29%)
Travis Kelce 54
(86%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
54
(37%)
Marcus Kemp 3
(5%)
0
(0%)
19
(86%)
22
(15%)
Chris Lammons 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
18
(82%)
18
(12%)
Patrick Mahomes 63
(100%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
63
(43%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
60
(100%)
0
(0%)
60
(41%)
Jerick McKinnon 18
(29%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
23
(16%)
Lucas Niang 12
(19%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
12
(8%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
25
(42%)
19
(86%)
44
(30%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
17
(28%)
3
(14%)
20
(14%)
Dorian O'Daniel 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
19
(86%)
19
(13%)
Alex Okafor 0
(0%)
19
(32%)
3
(14%)
22
(15%)
Byron Pringle 28
(44%)
0
(0%)
6
(27%)
34
(23%)
Jarran Reed 0
(0%)
37
(62%)
0
(0%)
37
(26%)
Demarcus Robinson 14
(22%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
15
(10%)
Trey Smith 63
(100%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
66
(46%)
L'Jarius Sneed 0
(0%)
58
(97%)
4
(18%)
62
(43%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
22
(37%)
6
(27%)
28
(19%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
60
(100%)
0
(0%)
60
(41%)
Joe Thuney 63
(100%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
66
(46%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(41%)
9
(6%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
60
(100%)
0
(0%)
60
(41%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
18
(82%)
18
(12%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
23
(38%)
3
(14%)
26
(18%)
Darrel Williams 35
(56%)
0
(0%)
6
(27%)
41
(28%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(41%)
9
(6%)
Andrew Wylie 51
(81%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
54
(37%)

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