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Chiefs-Cardinals: Making sense of snap counts

Taking a look at how Kansas City used its players during Friday night’s game in Arizona.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Arizona Cardinals 17-10 in their preseason Week 2 game. Let’s see how the Chiefs used their players in the game.


Starters (offensive): WR Demarcus Robinson, WR Mecole Hardman, LT Orlando Brown Jr., LG Joe Thuney, C Creed Humphrey, RG Trey Smith, RT Lucas Niang, TE Travis Kelce, WR Byron Pringle, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire and QB Patrick Mahomes.

Starters (defensive): DT Chris Jones, DT Jarran Reed, DT Khalen Saunders, DE Michael Danna, LB Willie Gay Jr., LB Anthony Hitchens, CB Mike Hughes, CB Charvarius Ward, CB L’Jarius Sneed, S Daniel Sorensen and S Tyrann Mathieu.

Did not play: WR Tyreek Hill, CB Rashad Fenton, DE Frank Clark, OL Austin Blythe, G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and DT Derrick Nnadi.

Offense Snaps
Pct
Total 79
(100%)
Darryl Williams 47
(59%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 41
(52%)
Creed Humphrey 41
(52%)
Lucas Niang 41
(52%)
Trey Smith 41
(52%)
Joe Thuney 41
(52%)
Yasir Durant 38
(48%)
Mecole Hardman 38
(48%)
Noah Gray 35
(44%)
Patrick Mahomes 32
(41%)
Jody Fortson 31
(39%)
Travis Kelce 31
(39%)
Demarcus Robinson 29
(37%)
Byron Pringle 27
(34%)
Marcus Kemp 25
(32%)
Prince Tega Wanogho 25
(32%)
Daurice Fountain 24
(30%)
Derrick Gore 24
(30%)
Jerick McKinnon 23
(29%)
Nick Allegretti 21
(27%)
Shane Buechele 19
(24%)
Anthony Gordon 19
(24%)
Wyatt Miller 19
(24%)
Cornell Powell 19
(24%)
Darwin Thompson 19
(24%)
Bryan Witzmann 19
(24%)
Andrew Wylie 19
(24%)
Blake Bell 14
(18%)
Dalton Schoen 14
(18%)
Mike Remmers 13
(16%)
Gehrig Dieter 9
(11%)
Maurice Ffrench 9
(11%)
Chad Henne 9
(11%)
Michael Burton 8
(10%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 5
(6%)

Offensive takeaways

  • As expected, starting offensive linemen Orlando Brown Jr., Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith and Lucas Niang played just over half of the total offensive snaps. After them, offensive linemen Darryl Williams and Yasir Durant had the most snaps. This could mean that they are at the bottom of the pile among offensive linemen — or that the Chiefs are trying to decide between them for the last spot.
  • Just as in Week 1, tight ends Noah Gray and Jody Fortson had very similar numbers. It looks like the Chiefs are trying to make up their minds about what to do with these two players.
  • Among wide receivers, Mecole Hardman saw the most use — followed by Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle, Marcus Kemp, Daurice Fountain, Cornell Powell, Dalton Shoen, Gehrig Dieter and Maurice Ffrench. Hardman had substantially more use than any other wideout — probably because Tyreek Hill was on the sidelines. Robinson, Pringle, Kemp and Fountain had fairly similar numbers. This suggests that they — along with Hardman — could be leading the way to make the team with Hill. But we probably shouldn’t count out fifth-round draft pick Powell.
  • After the game, we learned that starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered an ankle sprain. His five snaps suggest that the injury occurred during the Chiefs’ first drive — on the second-and-14 play at the Arizona 37-yard line.
  • While discussing injuries after the game, head coach Andy Reid did not mention offensive lineman Austin Blythe, so the reason he didn’t play was originally a mystery. But according to a new report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Blythe has undergone hernia surgery. He is expected to be out for three weeks.

Defense Snaps
Pct
Total 49
(100%)
Darius Harris 44
(90%)
Zayne Anderson 32
(65%)
Juan Thornhill 32
(65%)
Deandre Baker 30
(61%)
Dicaprio Bootle 30
(61%)
Thakarius Keyes 25
(51%)
Mike Hughes 24
(49%)
Daniel Sorensen 24
(49%)
Nick Bolton 21
(43%)
Alex Okafor 21
(43%)
Khalen Saunders 21
(43%)
Michael Danna 20
(41%)
Joshua Kaindoh 20
(41%)
Charvarius Ward 19
(39%)
Tershawn Wharton 19
(39%)
Austin Edwards 18
(37%)
Tyrann Mathieu 17
(35%)
L'Jarius Sneed 17
(35%)
Jarran Reed 14
(29%)
Chris Jones 13
(27%)
Tim Ward 13
(27%)
Anthony Hitchens 12
(24%)
Ben Niemann 12
(24%)
Willie Gay Jr. 11
(22%)
Tyler Clark 10
(20%)
Devon Key 10
(20%)
Taco Charlton 8
(16%)
Omari Cobb 2
(4%)

Defensive takeaways

  • Linebacker Darius Harris led the team in defensive snaps — likely because he is the player best-suited to call plays when Anthony Hitchens and Ben Niemann are off the field. That also suggests he is in line to make the 53-man roster.
  • Safety Juan Thornhill saw action early in the game — and was also among the leaders in defensive and special-teams snaps. It’s good that he saw plenty of action — and his interception at the end of the first half was likely to be a confidence builder for the third-year player.
  • Cornerback Mike Hughes saw plenty of snaps with the first team — and his defensive snap counts are in the same range as other starters, making it appear that he has a leg up over cornerback Deandre Baker. But since third-year cornerback Rashad Fenton didn’t play after tweaking a hamstring in warmups, those numbers could be skewed a little.

Special Teams Snaps
Pct
Total 19
(100%)
Chris Lammons 10
(53%)
Nick Bolton 9
(47%)
Willie Gay Jr. 9
(47%)
Noah Gray 9
(47%)
Harrison Butker 7
(37%)
Marcus Kemp 7
(37%)
Thakarius Keyes 7
(37%)
Ben Niemann 7
(37%)
Dorian O'Daniel 7
(37%)
Juan Thornhill 7
(37%)
Armani Watts 7
(37%)
Blake Bell 6
(32%)
Michael Burton 6
(32%)
Gehrig Dieter 6
(32%)
Joe Fortson 6
(32%)
Mike Hughes 6
(32%)
Jerick McKinnon 6
(32%)
Byron Pringle 5
(26%)
Tommy Townsend 5
(26%)
James Winchester 5
(26%)
Deandre Baker 4
(21%)
Will Parks 4
(21%)
Zayne Anderson 3
(16%)
Dicaprio Bootle 3
(16%)
Maurice Ffrench 3
(16%)
Creed Humphrey 3
(16%)
Joshua Kaindoh 3
(16%)
Devon Key 3
(16%)
Demarcus Robinson 3
(16%)
Emmanuel Smith 3
(16%)
Nick Allegretti 2
(11%)
Orlando Brown 2
(11%)
Tyler Clark 2
(11%)
Michael Danna 2
(11%)
Yasir Durant 2
(11%)
Austin Edwards 2
(11%)
Daurice Fountain 2
(11%)
Darius Harris 2
(11%)
Cornell Powell 2
(11%)
Darrius Shepherd 2
(11%)
Trey Smith 2
(11%)
Daniel Sorensen 2
(11%)
Darwin Thompson 2
(11%)
Joe Thuney 2
(11%)
Tim Ward 2
(11%)
Marlon Character 1
(5%)
Rodney Clemons 1
(5%)
Riley Cole 1
(5%)
Lucas Niang 1
(5%)
Mike Remmers 1
(5%)
Prince Tega Wanogho 1
(5%)
Tershawn Wharton 1
(5%)
Darryl Williams 1
(5%)
Andrew Wylie 1
(5%)

Special teams takeaways

  • In a low-scoring game where several long drives were ended by turnovers, there were relatively few special-teams snaps. But it is interesting that defensive back Chris Lammons led the pack. This could mean that he will end up making the team as a core special-teams player.

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 79
(100%)
49
(100%)
19
(100%)
147
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 21
(27%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
23
(16%)
Zayne Anderson 0
(0%)
32
(65%)
3
(16%)
35
(24%)
Deandre Baker 0
(0%)
30
(61%)
4
(21%)
34
(23%)
Blake Bell 14
(18%)
0
(0%)
6
(32%)
20
(14%)
Nick Bolton 0
(0%)
21
(43%)
9
(47%)
30
(20%)
Dicaprio Bootle 0
(0%)
30
(61%)
3
(16%)
33
(22%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 41
(52%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
43
(29%)
Shane Buechele 19
(24%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
19
(13%)
Michael Burton 8
(10%)
0
(0%)
6
(32%)
14
(10%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
7
(37%)
7
(5%)
Marlon Character 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
1
(1%)
Taco Charlton 0
(0%)
8
(16%)
0
(0%)
8
(5%)
Tyler Clark 0
(0%)
10
(20%)
2
(11%)
12
(8%)
Rodney Clemons 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
1
(1%)
Omari Cobb 0
(0%)
2
(4%)
0
(0%)
2
(1%)
Riley Cole 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
1
(1%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
20
(41%)
2
(11%)
22
(15%)
Gehrig Dieter 9
(11%)
0
(0%)
6
(32%)
15
(10%)
Yasir Durant 38
(48%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
40
(27%)
Austin Edwards 0
(0%)
18
(37%)
2
(11%)
20
(14%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 5
(6%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
5
(3%)
Maurice Ffrench 9
(11%)
0
(0%)
3
(16%)
12
(8%)
Jody Fortson 31
(39%)
0
(0%)
6
(32%)
37
(25%)
Daurice Fountain 24
(30%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
26
(18%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
11
(22%)
9
(47%)
20
(14%)
Anthony Gordon 19
(24%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
19
(13%)
Derrick Gore 24
(30%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
24
(16%)
Noah Gray 35
(44%)
0
(0%)
9
(47%)
44
(30%)
Mecole Hardman 38
(48%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
38
(26%)
Darius Harris 0
(0%)
44
(90%)
2
(11%)
46
(31%)
Chad Henne 9
(11%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(6%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
12
(24%)
0
(0%)
12
(8%)
Mike Hughes 0
(0%)
24
(49%)
6
(32%)
30
(20%)
Creed Humphrey 41
(52%)
0
(0%)
3
(16%)
44
(30%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
13
(27%)
0
(0%)
13
(9%)
Joshua Kaindoh 0
(0%)
20
(41%)
3
(16%)
23
(16%)
Travis Kelce 31
(39%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
31
(21%)
Marcus Kemp 25
(32%)
0
(0%)
7
(37%)
32
(22%)
Devon Key 0
(0%)
10
(20%)
3
(16%)
13
(9%)
BoPete Keyes 0
(0%)
25
(51%)
7
(37%)
32
(22%)
Chris Lammons 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
10
(53%)
10
(7%)
Patrick Mahomes 32
(41%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
32
(22%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
17
(35%)
0
(0%)
17
(12%)
Jerick McKinnon 23
(29%)
0
(0%)
6
(32%)
29
(20%)
Wyatt Miller 19
(24%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
19
(13%)
Lucas Niang 41
(52%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
42
(29%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
12
(24%)
7
(37%)
19
(13%)
Dorian O'Daniel 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
7
(37%)
7
(5%)
Alex Okafor 0
(0%)
21
(43%)
0
(0%)
21
(14%)
Will Parks 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
4
(21%)
4
(3%)
Cornell Powell 19
(24%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
21
(14%)
Byron Pringle 27
(34%)
0
(0%)
5
(26%)
32
(22%)
Jarran Reed 0
(0%)
14
(29%)
0
(0%)
14
(10%)
Mike Remmers 13
(16%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
14
(10%)
Demarcus Robinson 29
(37%)
0
(0%)
3
(16%)
32
(22%)
Khalen Saunders 0
(0%)
21
(43%)
0
(0%)
21
(14%)
Dalton Schoen 14
(18%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
14
(10%)
Darrius Shepherd 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
2
(1%)
Emmanuel Smith 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
3
(16%)
3
(2%)
Trey Smith 41
(52%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
43
(29%)
L'Jarius Sneed 0
(0%)
17
(35%)
0
(0%)
17
(12%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
24
(49%)
2
(11%)
26
(18%)
Darwin Thompson 19
(24%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
21
(14%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
32
(65%)
7
(37%)
39
(27%)
Joe Thuney 41
(52%)
0
(0%)
2
(11%)
43
(29%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
5
(26%)
5
(3%)
Prince Tega Wanogho 25
(32%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
26
(18%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
19
(39%)
0
(0%)
19
(13%)
Tim Ward 0
(0%)
13
(27%)
2
(11%)
15
(10%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
7
(37%)
7
(5%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
19
(39%)
1
(5%)
20
(14%)
Darryl Williams 47
(59%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
48
(33%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
5
(26%)
5
(3%)
Bryan Witzmann 19
(24%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
19
(13%)
Andrew Wylie 19
(24%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
20
(14%)