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Chiefs-Raiders snap counts: Bolton and Gore get more work in big win

Let’s see how Kansas City used their players in Sunday’s win.

Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs won their sixth consecutive game on Sunday, notching a dominating 48-9 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

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

Please note: Since we’re on a short week before the Chiefs play the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football, we will dispense with the week-by-week charts for individual players. We’ll return to that part of the analysis after the Week 15 game.


Starters (offensive): WR Josh Gordon, LT Orlando Brown Jr., LG Joe Thuney, C Creed Humphrey, RG Trey Smith, RT Andrew Wylie, TE Blake Bell, TE Travis Kelce, WR Tyreek Hill, QB Patrick Mahomes and RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Starters (defensive): RDT Chris Jones, LDT Jarran Reed, RDE Frank Clark, LDE Melvin Ingram, LB Willie Gay Jr., LB Anthony Hitchens, LCB Charvarius Ward, RCB Mike Hughes, CB Tyrann Mathieu, S Juan Thornhill and S Daniel Sorensen.

Did not play: None

Inactive: DB Dicaprio Bootle, QB Shane Buechele, CB L’Jarius Sneed, OL Kyle Long and T Prince Tega Wanogho.

Offense All Pass Run
Total 57
(100%)
27
(100%)
30
(100%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 57
(100%)
27
(100%)
30
(100%)
Trey Smith 57
(100%)
27
(100%)
30
(100%)
Creed Humphrey 53
(93%)
27
(100%)
26
(87%)
Patrick Mahomes 53
(93%)
27
(100%)
26
(87%)
Joe Thuney 53
(93%)
27
(100%)
26
(87%)
Andrew Wylie 53
(93%)
27
(100%)
26
(87%)
Travis Kelce 41
(72%)
22
(81%)
19
(63%)
Tyreek Hill 36
(63%)
22
(81%)
14
(47%)
Byron Pringle 32
(56%)
18
(67%)
14
(47%)
Demarcus Robinson 23
(40%)
15
(56%)
8
(27%)
Blake Bell 22
(39%)
3
(11%)
19
(63%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 22
(39%)
8
(30%)
14
(47%)
Josh Gordon 22
(39%)
11
(41%)
11
(37%)
Noah Gray 21
(37%)
7
(26%)
14
(47%)
Mecole Hardman 21
(37%)
9
(33%)
12
(40%)
Derrick Gore 18
(32%)
6
(22%)
12
(40%)
Darrel Williams 17
(30%)
13
(48%)
4
(13%)
Nick Allegretti 5
(9%)
0
(0%)
5
(17%)
Michael Burton 5
(9%)
0
(0%)
5
(17%)
Austin Blythe 4
(7%)
0
(0%)
4
(13%)
Chad Henne 4
(7%)
0
(0%)
4
(13%)
Marcus Kemp 4
(7%)
1
(4%)
3
(10%)
Lucas Niang 4
(7%)
0
(0%)
4
(13%)

Offensive takeaways

  • On both offense and defense, snap counts for this game were impacted by the blowout victory; once Kansas City assumed a 41-9 lead with just under ten minutes left in the game, some starters took seats on the bench. But on offense, the effect was limited by a single-play offensive drive, in which rookie Derrick Gore took a first-down handoff 51 yards for a touchdown to extend the Chiefs’ lead to 39 points. Kansas City’s final offensive possession consisted of three kneel-down plays. So in total, offensive starters missed only four plays.
  • For only the second time this season, the Chiefs ran the ball more than they passed it, rushing on 53% of the offensive snaps. But it should be noted that this essentially had to do with the Chiefs jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter — that they extended to a 35-3 lead at halftime. Until the second quarter, Kansas City emphasized the pass more than the run.
  • Even allowing for running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire sitting down at the end of the game, Derrick Gore saw a significant uptick in usage.
  • Wide receiver Mecole Hardman was used more than he had seen since the Week 9 game against the Green Bay Packers. Josh Gordon’s use returned to the levels we were seeing before the Denver Broncos game in Week 13.
  • With Andrew Wylie still starting at right tackle in place of Lucas Niang, the Chiefs continued to use “heavy” formations with an extra tight end or fullback more often.

Defense All Pass Run
Total 60
(100%)
49
(100%)
11
(100%)
Mike Hughes 60
(100%)
49
(100%)
11
(100%)
Juan Thornhill 60
(100%)
49
(100%)
11
(100%)
Daniel Sorensen 54
(90%)
46
(94%)
8
(73%)
Tyrann Mathieu 44
(73%)
35
(71%)
9
(82%)
Charvarius Ward 44
(73%)
35
(71%)
9
(82%)
Jarran Reed 41
(68%)
35
(71%)
6
(55%)
Chris Jones 37
(62%)
31
(63%)
6
(55%)
Melvin Ingram 35
(58%)
31
(63%)
4
(36%)
Rashad Fenton 34
(57%)
31
(63%)
3
(27%)
Frank Clark 33
(55%)
30
(61%)
3
(27%)
Willie Gay Jr. 31
(52%)
21
(43%)
10
(91%)
Nick Bolton 28
(47%)
22
(45%)
6
(55%)
Alex Okafor 26
(43%)
18
(37%)
8
(73%)
Tershawn Wharton 26
(43%)
22
(45%)
4
(36%)
Michael Danna 25
(42%)
18
(37%)
7
(64%)
Anthony Hitchens 20
(33%)
13
(27%)
7
(64%)
Derrick Nnadi 17
(28%)
11
(22%)
6
(55%)
Deandre Baker 16
(27%)
14
(29%)
2
(18%)
Ben Niemann 16
(27%)
16
(33%)
0
(0%)
Armani Watts 13
(22%)
12
(24%)
1
(9%)

Defensive takeaways

  • Putting starters on the bench impacted defensive snap counts significantly more. The Raiders ran 16 plays against backup players.
  • Allowing for this, we can see that Daniel Sorensen started the game at safety. This was done so that safety Tyrann Mathieu could take a chunk of the slot cornerback snaps in place of L’Jarius Sneed, who missed the game after a death in his family. According to Pro Football Focus data, Rashad Fenton — who was active for the game after being limited in practice all week — took the rest. Mike Hughes started the game and played exclusively as an outside corner.
  • The team used linebackers sparingly, averaging just 1.58 on the field for each snap — the lowest such figure of the season. That resulted in lower usage for all of the team’s linebackers, except for Nick Bolton. PFF data suggests that after starters sat down, Bolton took most of the second-level snaps.
  • PFF data also shows that in this game, Chris Jones lined up as a defensive end more often than he did as a defensive tackle. That’s the first time we’ve seen this since the team’s current winning streak began. But based on replays shown during the broadcast, it appears that this was sometimes done not because of a philosophical shift, but rather as a means to confuse the Las Vegas offensive line. In addition, Jones (and most of the rest of the defensive lineman) remained on the field through the Raiders’ final two drives; their percentages of use remained in normal ranges — except for Frank Clark, whose usage dropped to the lowest level of the season.

Special Teams Snaps
Total 26
(100%)
Noah Gray 24
(92%)
Marcus Kemp 18
(69%)
Ben Niemann 18
(69%)
Dorian O'Daniel 18
(69%)
Armani Watts 18
(69%)
Josh Jackson 18
(69%)
Harrison Butker 17
(65%)
Deandre Baker 13
(50%)
Michael Burton 12
(46%)
Mike Hughes 11
(42%)
Blake Bell 10
(38%)
Derrick Gore 9
(35%)
Tommy Townsend 9
(35%)
James Winchester 9
(35%)
Nick Allegretti 8
(31%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 8
(31%)
Lucas Niang 8
(31%)
Trey Smith 8
(31%)
Daniel Sorensen 8
(31%)
Andrew Wylie 8
(31%)
Creed Humphrey 7
(27%)
Byron Pringle 6
(23%)
Mecole Hardman 4
(15%)
Darrel Williams 3
(12%)
Michael Danna 2
(8%)
Anthony Hitchens 2
(8%)
Derrick Nnadi 2
(8%)
Alex Okafor 2
(8%)
Charvarius Ward 2
(8%)
Tershawn Wharton 2
(8%)
Austin Blythe 1
(4%)
Nick Bolton 1
(4%)

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 57
(100%)
60
(100%)
26
(100%)
143
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 5
(9%)
0
(0%)
8
(31%)
13
(9%)
Deandre Baker 0
(0%)
16
(27%)
13
(50%)
29
(20%)
Blake Bell 22
(39%)
0
(0%)
10
(38%)
32
(22%)
Austin Blythe 4
(7%)
0
(0%)
1
(4%)
5
(3%)
Nick Bolton 0
(0%)
28
(47%)
1
(4%)
29
(20%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 57
(100%)
0
(0%)
8
(31%)
65
(45%)
Michael Burton 5
(9%)
0
(0%)
12
(46%)
17
(12%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
17
(65%)
17
(12%)
Frank Clark 0
(0%)
33
(55%)
0
(0%)
33
(23%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
25
(42%)
2
(8%)
27
(19%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 22
(39%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
22
(15%)
Rashad Fenton 0
(0%)
34
(57%)
0
(0%)
34
(24%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
31
(52%)
0
(0%)
31
(22%)
Josh Gordon 22
(39%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
22
(15%)
Derrick Gore 18
(32%)
0
(0%)
9
(35%)
27
(19%)
Noah Gray 21
(37%)
0
(0%)
24
(92%)
45
(31%)
Mecole Hardman 21
(37%)
0
(0%)
4
(15%)
25
(17%)
Chad Henne 4
(7%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
4
(3%)
Tyreek Hill 36
(63%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
36
(25%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
20
(33%)
2
(8%)
22
(15%)
Mike Hughes 0
(0%)
60
(100%)
11
(42%)
71
(50%)
Creed Humphrey 53
(93%)
0
(0%)
7
(27%)
60
(42%)
Melvin Ingram 0
(0%)
35
(58%)
0
(0%)
35
(24%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
37
(62%)
0
(0%)
37
(26%)
Travis Kelce 41
(72%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
41
(29%)
Marcus Kemp 4
(7%)
0
(0%)
18
(69%)
22
(15%)
Patrick Mahomes 53
(93%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
53
(37%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
44
(73%)
0
(0%)
44
(31%)
Lucas Niang 4
(7%)
0
(0%)
8
(31%)
12
(8%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
16
(27%)
18
(69%)
34
(24%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
17
(28%)
2
(8%)
19
(13%)
Dorian O'Daniel 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
18
(69%)
18
(13%)
Alex Okafor 0
(0%)
26
(43%)
2
(8%)
28
(20%)
Byron Pringle 32
(56%)
0
(0%)
6
(23%)
38
(27%)
Jarran Reed 0
(0%)
41
(68%)
0
(0%)
41
(29%)
Demarcus Robinson 23
(40%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
23
(16%)
Trey Smith 57
(100%)
0
(0%)
8
(31%)
65
(45%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
54
(90%)
8
(31%)
62
(43%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
60
(100%)
0
(0%)
60
(42%)
Joe Thuney 53
(93%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
53
(37%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(35%)
9
(6%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
44
(73%)
2
(8%)
46
(32%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
13
(22%)
18
(69%)
31
(22%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
26
(43%)
2
(8%)
28
(20%)
Darrel Williams 17
(30%)
0
(0%)
3
(12%)
20
(14%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(35%)
9
(6%)
Andrew Wylie 53
(93%)
0
(0%)
8
(31%)
61
(43%)
Josh Jackson 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
18
(69%)
18
(13%)

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