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Chiefs-Broncos snap counts: Pringle looks like WR2, Baker subs for Fenton

How did Kansas City use their players in Sunday night’s win over Denver?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs extended their record to 8-4 with a 22-9 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football. As we do each week, let's use advanced snap count data to see how the Chiefs used their players.


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

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

Did not play: QB Chad Henne, OL Austin Blythe and T Prince Tega Wanogho.

Inactive: QB Shane Buechele, CB Rashad Fenton, OL Lucas Niang and OL Kyle Long.


Offensive takeaways


Left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., left guard Joe Thuney, center Creed Humphrey, right guard Trey Smith and right tackle Andrew Wylie (again starting in place of Lucas Niang) played 100% of the offensive snaps. Nick Allegretti once again had a handful of snaps as a sixth offensive lineman. Kyle Long — just moved to the active roster — was made inactive for the game. Austin Blythe and Prince Tega Wanogho were both active, but did not get on the field.

At tight end, Travis Kelce was on the field a bit less than in the Week 11 game against the Dallas Cowboys — but was still within his normal range. That was actually true of all Chiefs tight ends; the Chiefs simply ran fewer "heavy" offensive formations. It's also worth noting that rookie Noah Gray's use on special teams has steadily increased through the season, stabilizing at around 90% of the snaps; he's become a core special-teams player.

Despite being out with what head coach Andy Reid called "stomach flu" on Friday, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire saw normal use in the game. However, it now appears that the Chiefs are starting to use backup Darrel Williams more often on passing downs. Jerick McKinnon's absence didn't seem to result in additional offensive opportunities for Derrick Gore — although, like McKinnon, he had plenty of use on special teams.

At wide receiver, Tyreek Hill's was on the high side of his normal range. Byron Pringle's use returned to the steady climb we have seen throughout the season; he can now almost be considered as getting snaps commensurate with being the team's No. 2 wideout. Demarcus Robinson's use continued to climb from his season-low against the Green Bay Packers. This came at the expense of Josh Gordon — who was listed as a starter, but was used less than he had been since Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, Mecole Hardman's use remained steady from his season-low against the Cowboys.


Defensive takeaways


As we would expect, the starters at the back end of the defense — Tyrann Mathieu, Charvarius Ward and L'Jarius Sneed and Juan Thornhill were on the field for all (or nearly all) of the defensive snaps. Thornhill was actually used a bit less often than we usually see — but 89% is still nearly an every-down figure.

With Rashad Fenton out, it was reasonable to expect that backup cornerback Mike Hughes — who started the game — would take his place. But instead, the Chiefs chose to use Deandre Baker — who had been inactive for the previous five games — in Fenton's place. According to data from Pro Football Focus, Baker was used in exactly the same way: as an outside corner when Sneed was playing elsewhere.

Meanwhile, it was more of the same for safety Daniel Sorensen, whose use as a box safety remained steady.

After a season-low use of their linebackers in Week 11, the Chiefs moved back towards normal against the Broncos, averaging 1.82 second-level players on each rep. It appears that Anthony Hitchens got most of the increase in linebacker snaps; the use of the other three backers remained steady.

At defensive end, Frank Clark and Melvin Ingram's use declined a bit from Week 11 — made up with increased usage of backups Michael Danna and Alex Okafor.

Chris Jones was in his normal range of use. Again listed as a starting defensive tackle — rather than as a defensive end — he played that way, too: according to PFF, he played 71% of his snaps on the inside. This figure is consistent with 2020 when he was used on the outside for about one snap in three. It's all-but-official now: Jones is back to being a defensive tackle.

Compared to Week 11, it looks like Tershawn Wharton got a few more snaps in relief of Jarran Reed, while Derrick Nnadi continued to see the field (in place of Jones) when the Chiefs were expecting running plays.


Data


Offense

Offense All Pass Run
Total 54
(100%)
30
(100%)
24
(100%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 54
(100%)
30
(100%)
24
(100%)
Creed Humphrey 54
(100%)
30
(100%)
24
(100%)
Patrick Mahomes 54
(100%)
30
(100%)
24
(100%)
Trey Smith 54
(100%)
30
(100%)
24
(100%)
Joe Thuney 54
(100%)
30
(100%)
24
(100%)
Andrew Wylie 54
(100%)
30
(100%)
24
(100%)
Tyreek Hill 47
(87%)
29
(97%)
18
(75%)
Travis Kelce 41
(76%)
25
(83%)
16
(67%)
Byron Pringle 38
(70%)
23
(77%)
15
(63%)
Demarcus Robinson 29
(54%)
18
(60%)
11
(46%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 27
(50%)
13
(43%)
14
(58%)
Darrel Williams 25
(46%)
17
(57%)
8
(33%)
Blake Bell 14
(26%)
4
(13%)
10
(42%)
Josh Gordon 12
(22%)
7
(23%)
5
(21%)
Noah Gray 12
(22%)
5
(17%)
7
(29%)
Mecole Hardman 9
(17%)
7
(23%)
2
(8%)
Michael Burton 7
(13%)
1
(3%)
6
(25%)
Marcus Kemp 4
(7%)
1
(3%)
3
(13%)
Nick Allegretti 3
(6%)
0
(0%)
3
(13%)
Derrick Gore 2
(4%)
0
(0%)
2
(8%)

Defense

Defense All Pass Run
Total 73
(100%)
42
(100%)
31
(100%)
Tyrann Mathieu 73
(100%)
42
(100%)
31
(100%)
L'Jarius Sneed 73
(100%)
42
(100%)
31
(100%)
Charvarius Ward 73
(100%)
42
(100%)
31
(100%)
Juan Thornhill 65
(89%)
37
(88%)
28
(90%)
Chris Jones 48
(66%)
31
(74%)
17
(55%)
Deandre Baker 47
(64%)
32
(76%)
15
(48%)
Willie Gay Jr. 45
(62%)
21
(50%)
24
(77%)
Frank Clark 44
(60%)
27
(64%)
17
(55%)
Jarran Reed 41
(56%)
22
(52%)
19
(61%)
Anthony Hitchens 40
(55%)
17
(40%)
23
(74%)
Melvin Ingram 38
(52%)
21
(50%)
17
(55%)
Daniel Sorensen 36
(49%)
26
(62%)
10
(32%)
Alex Okafor 34
(47%)
18
(43%)
16
(52%)
Tershawn Wharton 32
(44%)
19
(45%)
13
(42%)
Michael Danna 30
(41%)
18
(43%)
12
(39%)
Ben Niemann 27
(37%)
21
(50%)
6
(19%)
Derrick Nnadi 25
(34%)
12
(29%)
13
(42%)
Nick Bolton 21
(29%)
7
(17%)
14
(45%)
Mike Hughes 11
(15%)
7
(17%)
4
(13%)

Special Teams

Special Teams Snaps
Total 22
(100%)
Noah Gray 21
(95%)
Marcus Kemp 17
(77%)
Ben Niemann 17
(77%)
Dorian O'Daniel 17
(77%)
Armani Watts 17
(77%)
Michael Burton 13
(59%)
Harrison Butker 11
(50%)
Byron Pringle 11
(50%)
Tommy Townsend 9
(41%)
James Winchester 9
(41%)
Deandre Baker 8
(36%)
Blake Bell 8
(36%)
Derrick Gore 8
(36%)
Mike Hughes 7
(32%)
Daniel Sorensen 7
(32%)
Demarcus Robinson 6
(27%)
Darrel Williams 6
(27%)
Nick Allegretti 5
(23%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 5
(23%)
Creed Humphrey 5
(23%)
Trey Smith 5
(23%)
Joe Thuney 5
(23%)
Andrew Wylie 5
(23%)
Nick Bolton 4
(18%)
Chris Lammons 4
(18%)
L'Jarius Sneed 3
(14%)
Juan Thornhill 3
(14%)
Michael Danna 1
(5%)
Mecole Hardman 1
(5%)
Anthony Hitchens 1
(5%)
Derrick Nnadi 1
(5%)
Alex Okafor 1
(5%)
Tershawn Wharton 1
(5%)

All Snaps

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 54
(100%)
73
(100%)
22
(100%)
149
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 3
(6%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
8
(5%)
Deandre Baker 0
(0%)
47
(64%)
8
(36%)
55
(37%)
Blake Bell 14
(26%)
0
(0%)
8
(36%)
22
(15%)
Nick Bolton 0
(0%)
21
(29%)
4
(18%)
25
(17%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 54
(100%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
59
(40%)
Michael Burton 7
(13%)
0
(0%)
13
(59%)
20
(13%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
11
(50%)
11
(7%)
Frank Clark 0
(0%)
44
(60%)
0
(0%)
44
(30%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
30
(41%)
1
(5%)
31
(21%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
45
(62%)
0
(0%)
45
(30%)
Josh Gordon 12
(22%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
12
(8%)
Derrick Gore 2
(4%)
0
(0%)
8
(36%)
10
(7%)
Noah Gray 12
(22%)
0
(0%)
21
(95%)
33
(22%)
Mecole Hardman 9
(17%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
10
(7%)
Tyreek Hill 47
(87%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
47
(32%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
40
(55%)
1
(5%)
41
(28%)
Mike Hughes 0
(0%)
11
(15%)
7
(32%)
18
(12%)
Creed Humphrey 54
(100%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
59
(40%)
Melvin Ingram 0
(0%)
38
(52%)
0
(0%)
38
(26%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
48
(66%)
0
(0%)
48
(32%)
Travis Kelce 41
(76%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
41
(28%)
Marcus Kemp 4
(7%)
0
(0%)
17
(77%)
21
(14%)
Chris Lammons 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
4
(18%)
4
(3%)
Patrick Mahomes 54
(100%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
54
(36%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
73
(100%)
0
(0%)
73
(49%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
27
(37%)
17
(77%)
44
(30%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
25
(34%)
1
(5%)
26
(17%)
Dorian O'Daniel 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
17
(77%)
17
(11%)
Alex Okafor 0
(0%)
34
(47%)
1
(5%)
35
(23%)
Byron Pringle 38
(70%)
0
(0%)
11
(50%)
49
(33%)
Jarran Reed 0
(0%)
41
(56%)
0
(0%)
41
(28%)
Demarcus Robinson 29
(54%)
0
(0%)
6
(27%)
35
(23%)
Trey Smith 54
(100%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
59
(40%)
L'Jarius Sneed 0
(0%)
73
(100%)
3
(14%)
76
(51%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
36
(49%)
7
(32%)
43
(29%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
65
(89%)
3
(14%)
68
(46%)
Joe Thuney 54
(100%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
59
(40%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(41%)
9
(6%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
73
(100%)
0
(0%)
73
(49%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
17
(77%)
17
(11%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
32
(44%)
1
(5%)
33
(22%)
Darrel Williams 25
(46%)
0
(0%)
6
(27%)
31
(21%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(41%)
9
(6%)
Andrew Wylie 54
(100%)
0
(0%)
5
(23%)
59
(40%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 27
(50%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
27
(18%)

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