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Chiefs-Vikings: Making sense of snap counts

How did Kansas City use their players in the final preseason game?

NFL: AUG 27 Preseason - Vikings at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings 28-25 at Arrowhead Stadium on Friday night, completing their 2021 preseason schedule with a 3-0 record.

Let’s see how the Chiefs used their players in the final exhibition game.


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

Starters (defensive): LDE Alex Okafor, LDT Jarran Reed, RDT Khalen Saunders, RDE Michael Danna, LB Ben Niemann, LB Anthony Hitchens, LB Willie Gay Jr., RCB L’Jarius Sneed, LCB Charvarius Ward, S Tyrann Mathieu and S Daniel Sorensen.

Did not play: QB Chad Henne, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, CB Rashad Fenton, RB Darrel Williams, DE Frank Clark, OL Austin Blythe, G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and DT Chris Jones.

Offense Snaps
Pct
Total 65
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 50
(77%)
Shane Buechele 50
(77%)
Yasir Durant 50
(77%)
Prince Tega Wanogho 50
(77%)
Derrick Gore 35
(54%)
Jody Fortson 34
(52%)
Noah Gray 34
(52%)
Daurice Fountain 33
(51%)
Mike Remmers 30
(46%)
Andrew Wylie 30
(46%)
Byron Pringle 29
(45%)
Marcus Kemp 25
(38%)
Darwin Thompson 22
(34%)
Wyatt Miller 20
(31%)
Darryl Williams 20
(31%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 15
(23%)
Creed Humphrey 15
(23%)
Patrick Mahomes 15
(23%)
Lucas Niang 15
(23%)
Cornell Powell 15
(23%)
Trey Smith 15
(23%)
Joe Thuney 15
(23%)
Tyreek Hill 14
(22%)
Travis Kelce 12
(18%)
Demarcus Robinson 11
(17%)
Blake Bell 9
(14%)
Mecole Hardman 9
(14%)
Darrius Shepherd 9
(14%)
Michael Burton 8
(12%)
Jerick McKinnon 8
(12%)
Maurice Ffrench 7
(11%)
Dalton Schoen 7
(11%)
Gehrig Dieter 4
(6%)

Offensive takeaways

  • Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had indicated his starters would be on the field through the first half. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the majority of the starting offense actually stayed on the field only through two possessions, coming out of the game near the end of the first quarter, following 15 snaps in which they had put 14 points on the board.
  • With running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams both out of the game, Jerick McKinnon started at running back — the clearest indication yet that he is in line to be the third running back on the depth chart. Derrick Gore had significantly more snaps than Darwin Thompson, suggesting that despite Gore’s big plays in the last two preseason games, Thompson might have the edge to become a fourth running back — providing the Chiefs decide to keep that many.
  • Likewise, tight end Blake Bell’s starting spot would suggest that he is unlikely to be replaced by either Noah Gray or Jody Fortson — both of whom had exactly the same number of offensive and special teams snaps. Just as after Week 2, we can’t really draw many conclusions about how the Chiefs rank the two of them in the tight end group.
  • Outside of the starting five linemen, Nick Allegretti, Yasir Durant and Prince Tega Wanogho had the most offensive snaps, while Mike Remmers, Andrew Wylie and Wyatt Miller had the least.

Defense Snaps
Pct
Total 78
(100%)
Darius Harris 58
(74%)
Joshua Kaindoh 57
(73%)
Austin Edwards 52
(67%)
Tim Ward 52
(67%)
Tyler Clark 45
(58%)
Dicaprio Bootle 44
(56%)
Emmanuel Smith 38
(49%)
Deandre Baker 37
(47%)
Thakarius Keyes 37
(47%)
Armani Watts 37
(47%)
Zayne Anderson 29
(37%)
Marlon Character 29
(37%)
Devon Key 29
(37%)
Chris Lammons 29
(37%)
Rodney Clemons 23
(29%)
Dorian O'Daniel 23
(29%)
Omari Cobb 22
(28%)
Demone Harris 21
(27%)
Alex Okafor 20
(26%)
Khalen Saunders 18
(23%)
Michael Danna 16
(21%)
Juan Thornhill 15
(19%)
Nick Bolton 14
(18%)
Tershawn Wharton 14
(18%)
Tyrann Mathieu 12
(15%)
Jarran Reed 12
(15%)
L'Jarius Sneed 12
(15%)
Daniel Sorensen 12
(15%)
Charvarius Ward 12
(15%)
Anthony Hitchens 11
(14%)
Willie Gay 10
(13%)
Ben Niemann 10
(13%)
Mike Hughes 4
(5%)
Derrick Nnadi 4
(5%)

Defensive takeaways

  • Unlike Week 2, the starting defenders were aligned in a 4-3-4 instead of a 4-2-5. Ben Niemann was the third linebacker in Week 3, while Mike Hughes was the nickel cornerback in Week 2.
  • After that, Spagnuolo’s varied alignments make it difficult to draw too many conclusions from snap counts alone. As in Week 2, linebacker Darius Harris had the highest defensive snap count — likely because he is best-suited to be the defensive play-caller once Anthony Hitchens and Nieman are off the field. After that, the Chiefs gave the most defensive snap counts to defensive ends Joshua Kaindoh, Tim Ward and Austin Edwards.
  • Defensive back Chris Lammoms — who led special-teams snaps in Week 2 but had no playing time on defense — remained at the top of the special-teams counts, while also playing over a third of the defensive snaps.

Special Teams Snaps
Pct
Total 28
(100%)
Chris Lammons 14
(50%)
Darius Harris 13
(46%)
Nick Bolton 12
(43%)
Thakarius Keyes 11
(39%)
Michael Burton 10
(36%)
Gehrig Dieter 10
(36%)
Joe Fortson 10
(36%)
Noah Gray 10
(36%)
Dorian O'Daniel 10
(36%)
Armani Watts 10
(36%)
Dicaprio Bootle 9
(32%)
Harrison Butker 9
(32%)
Jerick McKinnon 9
(32%)
Juan Thornhill 9
(32%)
Tommy Townsend 9
(32%)
James Winchester 9
(32%)
Blake Bell 8
(29%)
Marcus Kemp 8
(29%)
Ben Niemann 8
(29%)
Zayne Anderson 7
(25%)
Deandre Baker 7
(25%)
Omari Cobb 7
(25%)
Devon Key 7
(25%)
Daurice Fountain 6
(21%)
Joshua Kaindoh 6
(21%)
Byron Pringle 5
(18%)
Emmanuel Smith 5
(18%)
Darwin Thompson 5
(18%)
Austin Edwards 4
(14%)
Maurice Ffrench 4
(14%)
Mike Hughes 4
(14%)
Darrius Shepherd 4
(14%)
Tim Ward 4
(14%)
Cornell Powell 3
(11%)
Nick Allegretti 2
(7%)
Orlando Brown 2
(7%)
Marlon Character 2
(7%)
Tyler Clark 2
(7%)
Yasir Durant 2
(7%)
Mecole Hardman 2
(7%)
Creed Humphrey 2
(7%)
Wyatt Miller 2
(7%)
Lucas Niang 2
(7%)
Mike Remmers 2
(7%)
Khalen Saunders 2
(7%)
Dalton Schoen 2
(7%)
Trey Smith 2
(7%)
Daniel Sorensen 2
(7%)
Joe Thuney 2
(7%)
Prince Tega Wanogho 2
(7%)
Darryl Williams 2
(7%)
Andrew Wylie 2
(7%)
Michael Danna 1
(4%)
Anthony Hitchens 1
(4%)
Derrick Nnadi 1
(4%)
Alex Okafor 1
(4%)
Jarran Reed 1
(4%)
Tershawn Wharton 1
(4%)

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 65
(100%)
78
(100%)
28
(100%)
171
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 50
(77%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
52
(30%)
Zayne Anderson 0
(0%)
29
(37%)
7
(25%)
36
(21%)
Deandre Baker 0
(0%)
37
(47%)
7
(25%)
44
(26%)
Blake Bell 9
(14%)
0
(0%)
8
(29%)
17
(10%)
Nick Bolton 0
(0%)
14
(18%)
12
(43%)
26
(15%)
Dicaprio Bootle 0
(0%)
44
(56%)
9
(32%)
53
(31%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 15
(23%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
17
(10%)
Shane Buechele 50
(77%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
50
(29%)
Michael Burton 8
(12%)
0
(0%)
10
(36%)
18
(11%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(32%)
9
(5%)
Marlon Character 0
(0%)
29
(37%)
2
(7%)
31
(18%)
Tyler Clark 0
(0%)
45
(58%)
2
(7%)
47
(27%)
Rodney Clemons 0
(0%)
23
(29%)
0
(0%)
23
(13%)
Omari Cobb 0
(0%)
22
(28%)
7
(25%)
29
(17%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
16
(21%)
1
(4%)
17
(10%)
Gehrig Dieter 4
(6%)
0
(0%)
10
(36%)
14
(8%)
Yasir Durant 50
(77%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
52
(30%)
Austin Edwards 0
(0%)
52
(67%)
4
(14%)
56
(33%)
Maurice Ffrench 7
(11%)
0
(0%)
4
(14%)
11
(6%)
Jody Fortson 34
(52%)
0
(0%)
10
(36%)
44
(26%)
Daurice Fountain 33
(51%)
0
(0%)
6
(21%)
39
(23%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
10
(13%)
0
(0%)
10
(6%)
Derrick Gore 35
(54%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
35
(20%)
Noah Gray 34
(52%)
0
(0%)
10
(36%)
44
(26%)
Mecole Hardman 9
(14%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
11
(6%)
Darius Harris 0
(0%)
58
(74%)
13
(46%)
71
(42%)
Demone Harris 0
(0%)
21
(27%)
0
(0%)
21
(12%)
Tyreek Hill 14
(22%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
14
(8%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
11
(14%)
1
(4%)
12
(7%)
Mike Hughes 0
(0%)
4
(5%)
4
(14%)
8
(5%)
Creed Humphrey 15
(23%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
17
(10%)
Joshua Kaindoh 0
(0%)
57
(73%)
6
(21%)
63
(37%)
Travis Kelce 12
(18%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
12
(7%)
Marcus Kemp 25
(38%)
0
(0%)
8
(29%)
33
(19%)
Devon Key 0
(0%)
29
(37%)
7
(25%)
36
(21%)
BoPete Keyes 0
(0%)
37
(47%)
11
(39%)
48
(28%)
Chris Lammons 0
(0%)
29
(37%)
14
(50%)
43
(25%)
Patrick Mahomes 15
(23%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
15
(9%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
12
(15%)
0
(0%)
12
(7%)
Jerick McKinnon 8
(12%)
0
(0%)
9
(32%)
17
(10%)
Wyatt Miller 20
(31%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
22
(13%)
Lucas Niang 15
(23%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
17
(10%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
10
(13%)
8
(29%)
18
(11%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
4
(5%)
1
(4%)
5
(3%)
Dorian O'Daniel 0
(0%)
23
(29%)
10
(36%)
33
(19%)
Alex Okafor 0
(0%)
20
(26%)
1
(4%)
21
(12%)
Cornell Powell 15
(23%)
0
(0%)
3
(11%)
18
(11%)
Byron Pringle 29
(45%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
34
(20%)
Jarran Reed 0
(0%)
12
(15%)
1
(4%)
13
(8%)
Mike Remmers 30
(46%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
32
(19%)
Demarcus Robinson 11
(17%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
11
(6%)
Khalen Saunders 0
(0%)
18
(23%)
2
(7%)
20
(12%)
Dalton Schoen 7
(11%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
9
(5%)
Darrius Shepherd 9
(14%)
0
(0%)
4
(14%)
13
(8%)
Emmanuel Smith 0
(0%)
38
(49%)
5
(18%)
43
(25%)
Trey Smith 15
(23%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
17
(10%)
L'Jarius Sneed 0
(0%)
12
(15%)
0
(0%)
12
(7%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
12
(15%)
2
(7%)
14
(8%)
Darwin Thompson 22
(34%)
0
(0%)
5
(18%)
27
(16%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
15
(19%)
9
(32%)
24
(14%)
Joe Thuney 15
(23%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
17
(10%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(32%)
9
(5%)
Prince Tega Wanogho 50
(77%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
52
(30%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
12
(15%)
0
(0%)
12
(7%)
Tim Ward 0
(0%)
52
(67%)
4
(14%)
56
(33%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
37
(47%)
10
(36%)
47
(27%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
14
(18%)
1
(4%)
15
(9%)
Darryl Williams 20
(31%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
22
(13%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
9
(32%)
9
(5%)
Andrew Wylie 30
(46%)
0
(0%)
2
(7%)
32
(19%)