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Chiefs-Broncos snap counts: Hardman in for Hill; Gore, McKinnon split

How did Kansas City use its players in Saturday’s game against Denver?

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs eked out a 28-24 win over the Denver Broncos on Saturday, closing out their season with a 12-5 record.

Let’s take a look at how Kansas City used its players in the victory.


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

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

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

Inactive: QB Shane Buechele, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, CB Deandre Baker and T Prince Tega Wanogho.


Offensive takeaways


After missing the Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a calf injury, Orlando Brown Jr. was back on the field on Saturday. After right tackle Lucas Niang was placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured list before the game, offensive lineman Andrew Wylie again stepped in to take his place; it looks like Wylie will be the guy on the right side through the postseason. Brown, Wylie, left guard Joe Thuney, center Creed Humphrey and right guard Trey Smith were all on the field for every offensive play.

At tight end, Travis Kelce, Blake Bell and Noah Gray all fell into their normal ranges of use.

Running back Darrel Williams suffered a toe injury in the first half, so his snaps were impacted accordingly. Jerick McKinnon and Derrick Gore split the load in the second half.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill was also used sparingly after suffering a heel injury during pre-game warmups. Mecole Hardman stepped right into Hill’s role, getting about the same use Hill would normally see. That allowed Byron Pringle to get more work after his dropoff in the Bengals game. Josh Gordon’s use continued to trend back toward his earlier normal range, taking some snaps from Demarcus Robinson along the way.


Defensive takeaways


As usual, Tyrann Mathieu, Charvarius Ward and L’Jarius Sneed were the workhorses of the defensive unit, seeing nearly every snap. Just as he was against Cincinnati, Juan Thornhill was used more often in passing situations — while Daniel Sorensen’s use declined to its lowest point since Week 9. According to Pro Football Focus data, Sorensen lined up on the line or in the box for about two-thirds of his snaps.

After being used almost exclusively on special teams in Cincinnati, cornerback Mike Hughes was back to getting some defensive work. He and Rashad Fenton split the outside snaps across from Ward when Sneed was in the slot.

At the second level, Anthony Hitchens’ usage remained higher than we have typically seen this season. Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton continued in their normal ranges — while Ben Niemann seems to be establishing a new range of use lower than we have seen for most of the season. He remains the only linebacker to be used more often in passing situations.

Defensive lineman Chris Jones was in his normal range of use — and according to PFF, split his time pretty evenly between the inside and outside.

The rest of the defensive ends also saw usage in their normal ranges — although all three (and Jones) crept away from being used more often in running or passing situations.

We also saw some changes in emphasis along the defensive interior, where all three defensive tackles were within their normal ranges.


Data


Offense

Offense All Pass Run
Total 75
(100%)
45
(100%)
30
(100%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 75
(100%)
45
(100%)
30
(100%)
Creed Humphrey 75
(100%)
45
(100%)
30
(100%)
Patrick Mahomes 75
(100%)
45
(100%)
30
(100%)
Trey Smith 75
(100%)
45
(100%)
30
(100%)
Joe Thuney 75
(100%)
45
(100%)
30
(100%)
Andrew Wylie 75
(100%)
45
(100%)
30
(100%)
Mecole Hardman 64
(85%)
39
(87%)
25
(83%)
Travis Kelce 57
(76%)
40
(89%)
17
(57%)
Byron Pringle 52
(69%)
37
(82%)
15
(50%)
Demarcus Robinson 38
(51%)
25
(56%)
13
(43%)
Darrel Williams 29
(39%)
21
(47%)
8
(27%)
Derrick Gore 23
(31%)
9
(20%)
14
(47%)
Jerick McKinnon 23
(31%)
15
(33%)
8
(27%)
Blake Bell 21
(28%)
5
(11%)
16
(53%)
Josh Gordon 21
(28%)
14
(31%)
7
(23%)
Noah Gray 18
(24%)
5
(11%)
13
(43%)
Tyreek Hill 12
(16%)
11
(24%)
1
(3%)
Marcus Kemp 10
(13%)
4
(9%)
6
(20%)
Michael Burton 6
(8%)
0
(0%)
6
(20%)
Nick Allegretti 1
(1%)
0
(0%)
1
(3%)

Defense

Defense All Pass Run
Total 54
(100%)
26
(100%)
28
(100%)
Tyrann Mathieu 54
(100%)
26
(100%)
28
(100%)
Charvarius Ward 52
(96%)
25
(96%)
27
(96%)
L'Jarius Sneed 50
(93%)
25
(96%)
25
(89%)
Juan Thornhill 48
(89%)
25
(96%)
23
(82%)
Frank Clark 39
(72%)
20
(77%)
19
(68%)
Melvin Ingram 39
(72%)
19
(73%)
20
(71%)
Willie Gay Jr. 38
(70%)
14
(54%)
24
(86%)
Anthony Hitchens 38
(70%)
15
(58%)
23
(82%)
Chris Jones 37
(69%)
18
(69%)
19
(68%)
Jarran Reed 32
(59%)
13
(50%)
19
(68%)
Nick Bolton 24
(44%)
10
(38%)
14
(50%)
Rashad Fenton 22
(41%)
13
(50%)
9
(32%)
Tershawn Wharton 21
(39%)
12
(46%)
9
(32%)
Mike Hughes 19
(35%)
8
(31%)
11
(39%)
Daniel Sorensen 19
(35%)
11
(42%)
8
(29%)
Derrick Nnadi 18
(33%)
9
(35%)
9
(32%)
Michael Danna 15
(28%)
7
(27%)
8
(29%)
Alex Okafor 15
(28%)
6
(23%)
9
(32%)
Ben Niemann 14
(26%)
10
(38%)
4
(14%)

Special Teams

Special Teams Snaps
Total 25
(100%)
Marcus Kemp 21
(84%)
Ben Niemann 21
(84%)
Dorian O'Daniel 21
(84%)
Armani Watts 21
(84%)
Zayne Anderson 20
(80%)
Noah Gray 17
(68%)
Daniel Sorensen 15
(60%)
Michael Burton 13
(52%)
Jerick McKinnon 11
(44%)
Harrison Butker 10
(40%)
Mike Hughes 10
(40%)
Blake Bell 9
(36%)
Rashad Fenton 9
(36%)
Byron Pringle 9
(36%)
Michael Danna 8
(32%)
Tommy Townsend 6
(24%)
James Winchester 6
(24%)
Nick Allegretti 4
(16%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 4
(16%)
Anthony Hitchens 4
(16%)
Creed Humphrey 4
(16%)
Derrick Nnadi 4
(16%)
Alex Okafor 4
(16%)
Trey Smith 4
(16%)
L'Jarius Sneed 4
(16%)
Joe Thuney 4
(16%)
Tershawn Wharton 4
(16%)
Andrew Wylie 4
(16%)
Nick Bolton 2
(8%)
Mecole Hardman 1
(4%)

All Snaps

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 75
(100%)
54
(100%)
25
(100%)
154
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 1
(1%)
0
(0%)
4
(16%)
5
(3%)
Zayne Anderson 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
20
(80%)
20
(13%)
Blake Bell 21
(28%)
0
(0%)
9
(36%)
30
(19%)
Nick Bolton 0
(0%)
24
(44%)
2
(8%)
26
(17%)
Orlando Brown Jr. 75
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(16%)
79
(51%)
Michael Burton 6
(8%)
0
(0%)
13
(52%)
19
(12%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
10
(40%)
10
(6%)
Frank Clark 0
(0%)
39
(72%)
0
(0%)
39
(25%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
15
(28%)
8
(32%)
23
(15%)
Rashad Fenton 0
(0%)
22
(41%)
9
(36%)
31
(20%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
38
(70%)
0
(0%)
38
(25%)
Josh Gordon 21
(28%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
21
(14%)
Derrick Gore 23
(31%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
23
(15%)
Noah Gray 18
(24%)
0
(0%)
17
(68%)
35
(23%)
Mecole Hardman 64
(85%)
0
(0%)
1
(4%)
65
(42%)
Tyreek Hill 12
(16%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
12
(8%)
Anthony Hitchens 0
(0%)
38
(70%)
4
(16%)
42
(27%)
Mike Hughes 0
(0%)
19
(35%)
10
(40%)
29
(19%)
Creed Humphrey 75
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(16%)
79
(51%)
Melvin Ingram 0
(0%)
39
(72%)
0
(0%)
39
(25%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
37
(69%)
0
(0%)
37
(24%)
Travis Kelce 57
(76%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
57
(37%)
Marcus Kemp 10
(13%)
0
(0%)
21
(84%)
31
(20%)
Patrick Mahomes 75
(100%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
75
(49%)
Tyrann Mathieu 0
(0%)
54
(100%)
0
(0%)
54
(35%)
Jerick McKinnon 23
(31%)
0
(0%)
11
(44%)
34
(22%)
Ben Niemann 0
(0%)
14
(26%)
21
(84%)
35
(23%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
18
(33%)
4
(16%)
22
(14%)
Dorian O'Daniel 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
21
(84%)
21
(14%)
Alex Okafor 0
(0%)
15
(28%)
4
(16%)
19
(12%)
Byron Pringle 52
(69%)
0
(0%)
9
(36%)
61
(40%)
Jarran Reed 0
(0%)
32
(59%)
0
(0%)
32
(21%)
Demarcus Robinson 38
(51%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
38
(25%)
Trey Smith 75
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(16%)
79
(51%)
L'Jarius Sneed 0
(0%)
50
(93%)
4
(16%)
54
(35%)
Daniel Sorensen 0
(0%)
19
(35%)
15
(60%)
34
(22%)
Juan Thornhill 0
(0%)
48
(89%)
0
(0%)
48
(31%)
Joe Thuney 75
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(16%)
79
(51%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
6
(24%)
6
(4%)
Charvarius Ward 0
(0%)
52
(96%)
0
(0%)
52
(34%)
Armani Watts 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
21
(84%)
21
(14%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
21
(39%)
4
(16%)
25
(16%)
Darrel Williams 29
(39%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
29
(19%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
6
(24%)
6
(4%)
Andrew Wylie 75
(100%)
0
(0%)
4
(16%)
79
(51%)

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