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Chiefs-Packers snap counts: Travis Kelce still going strong

How did Kansas City use its players in Sunday’s game against Green Bay?

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs turned in a 27-19 road loss to the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football.” Let’s take a look at how the team used its players in Week 13.


Starters (offensive): TE Travis Kelce, WR Skyy Moore, WR Rashee Rice, LT Donovan Smith, LG Joe Thuney, C Creed Humphrey, RG Trey Smith, RT Jawaan Taylor, WR Justin Watson, QB Patrick Mahomes and RB Isiah Pacheco.

Starters (defensive): DE George Karlaftis, DT Derrick Nnadi, DT Chris Jones, DE Michael Danna, LB Willie Gay Jr., LB Drue Tranquill, CB Trent McDuffie, CB L’Jarius Sneed, S Justin Reid, S Bryan Cook and DB Chamarri Conner.

Did not play: QB Blaine Gabbert and RB Deneric Prince.

Inactive: RB Jerick McKinnon, CB Nic Jones, DE BJ Thompson, OL Mike Caliendo, DE Neil Farrell and DE Malik Herring.


Offensive takeaways


Pass/Run ratio

On Sunday night, the Chiefs passed on 58% of their plays, rushing on the remaining 42%. For the fourth straight game, the team stayed with the 60/40 split which appears to make the offense more efficient.

Offensive linemen

Offensive tackle Wanya Morris stepped in for starting left tackle Donovan Smith, who continues to struggle with the neck injury that has had him on the weekly injury report for the past two game. The third-round rookie was on the field for 69% of the snaps — and turned in a solid performance.

Running backs

In the second game it was without third-down running back Jerick McKinnon, the team went back to having a third-down back. Against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 12, the team shifted most of the third-down responsibilities to starter Isiah Pachceo; both he and backup Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s snaps were evenly distributed between running and passing plays. But on Sunday night, Edwards-Helaire took on McKinnon’s third-down role.

With McKinnon out, practice squad running back Deneric Prince was elevated to the roster for this game — becoming the first Kansas City player this season (outside of backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert) to not get at least one snap when active on game day. Even if they don’t get work with the offense or defense, Chiefs’ players in this kind of situation typically get on the field with the special teams unit. (For example, running back L’Mical Perine was elevated for the Raiders game and was used on 38% of the special teams snaps). But it appears there is no special teams role available to Prince — which means it will be very hard for the undrafted free agent to show what he can do on the field.

Tight ends

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Travis Kelce pushed back on the idea that he is playing less, saying that he only comes off the field when he is “just too exhausted.” The data backs that up. If anything, Kelce is playing more than he did a year ago. Meanwhile, Noah Gray’s usage seems to be trending down slightly over the course of the season.

Wide receivers

Rashee Rice (68%), Skyy Moore (66%) and Justin Watson (63%) all had at least 60% of the offensive snaps — and Marquez Valdes-Scantling had 48%. Kadarius Toney (18%) and Richie James (11%) brought up the rear.

Two things are noteworthy. One is that even as he leads the team’s wideouts in snaps, Rahsee Rice still hasn’t exceeded 80% in a game. In previous seasons, this was something that would happen with one or two of the team’s receivers in most games. This season, it’s happened just once: with Valdes-Scantling in Week 2 — and since then, his use has steadily declined. Meanwhile, the reason for Skyy Moore getting a lot of snaps (but not so many targets) is becoming clearer: he’s being used significantly more often on running plays.


Defensive takeaways


Defensive backs

After the safety Bryan Cook left the game with an injury, veteran Mike Edwards got the extra work, getting 84% of the total defensive snaps. That was a season-high.

Earlier this season — after being platooned during their rookie season — Jaylen Watson finally won his battle with Joshua Williams for the team’s third cornerback. But in this game, Williams (27%) had more snaps than Watson (25%).

We’ll have to see if this is the beginning of a new trend.

Linebackers

MIKE linebacker Drue Tranquill — himself a replacement for injured starter Nick Bolton — was injured in the game’s opening drive. Somewhat surprisingly, the team chose not to use veteran Darius Harris, who has some experience as the team’s MIKE. Instead, Harris remained on special teams as the team went with second-year player Jack Cochrane, who has had more defensive snaps this season than many observers may have realized. Cochrane was on the field for every snap. Interestingly, Wille Gay Jr. also saw a season-high in usage.

In a game where its starting and backup MIKE linebackers were out with injuries, the Chiefs averaged 2.27 linebackers on every play — the season’s second-highest figure.


Data


Offense

Offense All Pass Run
Total 62
(100%)
36
(100%)
26
(100%)
Creed Humphrey 62
(100%)
36
(100%)
26
(100%)
Patrick Mahomes 62
(100%)
36
(100%)
26
(100%)
Trey Smith 62
(100%)
36
(100%)
26
(100%)
Jawaan Taylor 62
(100%)
36
(100%)
26
(100%)
Joe Thuney 62
(100%)
36
(100%)
26
(100%)
Travis Kelce 55
(89%)
35
(97%)
20
(77%)
Wanya Morris 43
(69%)
25
(69%)
18
(69%)
Isiah Pacheco 43
(69%)
19
(53%)
24
(92%)
Rashee Rice 42
(68%)
27
(75%)
15
(58%)
Skyy Moore 41
(66%)
19
(53%)
22
(85%)
Justin Watson 39
(63%)
25
(69%)
14
(54%)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 30
(48%)
20
(56%)
10
(38%)
Noah Gray 21
(34%)
8
(22%)
13
(50%)
Donovan Smith 19
(31%)
11
(31%)
8
(31%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 17
(27%)
15
(42%)
2
(8%)
Kadarius Toney 11
(18%)
8
(22%)
3
(12%)
Blake Bell 7
(11%)
0
(0%)
7
(27%)
Richie James 4
(6%)
4
(11%)
0
(0%)

Defense

Defense All Pass Run
Total 63
(100%)
38
(100%)
25
(100%)
L'Jarius Sneed 63
(100%)
38
(100%)
25
(100%)
Trent McDuffie 62
(98%)
37
(97%)
25
(100%)
Justin Reid 61
(97%)
36
(95%)
25
(100%)
Jack Cochrane 56
(89%)
36
(95%)
20
(80%)
Willie Gay Jr. 56
(89%)
31
(82%)
25
(100%)
Chris Jones 53
(84%)
32
(84%)
21
(84%)
Mike Edwards 51
(81%)
32
(84%)
19
(76%)
George Karlaftis 47
(75%)
30
(79%)
17
(68%)
Charles Omenihu 43
(68%)
26
(68%)
17
(68%)
Michael Danna 38
(60%)
24
(63%)
14
(56%)
Derrick Nnadi 33
(52%)
20
(53%)
13
(52%)
Leo Chenal 24
(38%)
13
(34%)
11
(44%)
Bryan Cook 22
(35%)
14
(37%)
8
(32%)
Joshua Williams 17
(27%)
13
(34%)
4
(16%)
Jaylen Watson 16
(25%)
10
(26%)
6
(24%)
Matt Dickerson 15
(24%)
7
(18%)
8
(32%)
Tershawn Wharton 15
(24%)
9
(24%)
6
(24%)
Chamarri Conner 12
(19%)
8
(21%)
4
(16%)
Drue Tranquill 7
(11%)
2
(5%)
5
(20%)
Felix Anudike-Uzomah 2
(3%)
0
(0%)
2
(8%)

Special Teams

Special Teams Snaps
Total 22
(100%)
Joshua Williams 19
(86%)
Chamarri Conner 18
(82%)
Darius Harris 18
(82%)
Ekow Boye-Doe 16
(73%)
Jack Cochrane 15
(68%)
Leo Chenal 14
(64%)
Cam Jones 13
(59%)
Noah Gray 11
(50%)
Justin Watson 11
(50%)
Blake Bell 10
(45%)
Harrison Butker 8
(36%)
Richie James 8
(36%)
Mike Edwards 7
(32%)
Michael Danna 6
(27%)
George Karlaftis 6
(27%)
Derrick Nnadi 6
(27%)
Jaylen Watson 6
(27%)
Tershawn Wharton 6
(27%)
Felix Anudike-Uzomah 5
(23%)
Justin Reid 5
(23%)
Tommy Townsend 4
(18%)
James Winchester 4
(18%)
Nick Allegretti 3
(14%)
Bryan Cook 3
(14%)
Creed Humphrey 3
(14%)
Wanya Morris 3
(14%)
Lucas Niang 3
(14%)
Trey Smith 3
(14%)
Jawaan Taylor 3
(14%)
Joe Thuney 2
(9%)
Matt Dickerson 1
(5%)
Trent McDuffie 1
(5%)
Donovan Smith 1
(5%)

All Snaps

All Snaps Off Def ST Total
Total 62
(100%)
63
(100%)
22
(100%)
147
(100%)
Nick Allegretti 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
3
(2%)
Felix Anudike-Uzomah 0
(0%)
2
(3%)
5
(23%)
7
(5%)
Blake Bell 7
(11%)
0
(0%)
10
(45%)
17
(12%)
Ekow Boye-Doe 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
16
(73%)
16
(11%)
Harrison Butker 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
8
(36%)
8
(5%)
Leo Chenal 0
(0%)
24
(38%)
14
(64%)
38
(26%)
Jack Cochrane 0
(0%)
56
(89%)
15
(68%)
71
(48%)
Chamarri Conner 0
(0%)
12
(19%)
18
(82%)
30
(20%)
Bryan Cook 0
(0%)
22
(35%)
3
(14%)
25
(17%)
Michael Danna 0
(0%)
38
(60%)
6
(27%)
44
(30%)
Matt Dickerson 0
(0%)
15
(24%)
1
(5%)
16
(11%)
Mike Edwards 0
(0%)
51
(81%)
7
(32%)
58
(39%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 17
(27%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
17
(12%)
Willie Gay Jr. 0
(0%)
56
(89%)
0
(0%)
56
(38%)
Noah Gray 21
(34%)
0
(0%)
11
(50%)
32
(22%)
Darius Harris 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
18
(82%)
18
(12%)
Creed Humphrey 62
(100%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
65
(44%)
Richie James 4
(6%)
0
(0%)
8
(36%)
12
(8%)
Cam Jones 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
13
(59%)
13
(9%)
Chris Jones 0
(0%)
53
(84%)
0
(0%)
53
(36%)
George Karlaftis 0
(0%)
47
(75%)
6
(27%)
53
(36%)
Travis Kelce 55
(89%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
55
(37%)
Patrick Mahomes 62
(100%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
62
(42%)
Trent McDuffie 0
(0%)
62
(98%)
1
(5%)
63
(43%)
Skyy Moore 41
(66%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
41
(28%)
Wanya Morris 43
(69%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
46
(31%)
Lucas Niang 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
3
(2%)
Derrick Nnadi 0
(0%)
33
(52%)
6
(27%)
39
(27%)
Charles Omenihu 0
(0%)
43
(68%)
0
(0%)
43
(29%)
Isiah Pacheco 43
(69%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
43
(29%)
Justin Reid 0
(0%)
61
(97%)
5
(23%)
66
(45%)
Rashee Rice 42
(68%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
42
(29%)
Donovan Smith 19
(31%)
0
(0%)
1
(5%)
20
(14%)
Trey Smith 62
(100%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
65
(44%)
L'Jarius Sneed 0
(0%)
63
(100%)
0
(0%)
63
(43%)
Jawaan Taylor 62
(100%)
0
(0%)
3
(14%)
65
(44%)
Joe Thuney 62
(100%)
0
(0%)
2
(9%)
64
(44%)
Kadarius Toney 11
(18%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
11
(7%)
Tommy Townsend 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
4
(18%)
4
(3%)
Drue Tranquill 0
(0%)
7
(11%)
0
(0%)
7
(5%)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 30
(48%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
30
(20%)
Jaylen Watson 0
(0%)
16
(25%)
6
(27%)
22
(15%)
Justin Watson 39
(63%)
0
(0%)
11
(50%)
50
(34%)
Tershawn Wharton 0
(0%)
15
(24%)
6
(27%)
21
(14%)
Joshua Williams 0
(0%)
17
(27%)
19
(86%)
36
(24%)
James Winchester 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
4
(18%)
4
(3%)

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

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