A closer look at the official snap counts for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16 reveal some emerging storylines.
Today we are going to look at the snap counts from Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. With a secondary that has been ailing with injuries and an offense that has been playing musical chairs with the starting lineup, there is a lot to talk about on both sides. First, we will look at the offensive side of the ball.
It was only five weeks ago that the Chiefs lost the talents of Pro Bowl running back Kareem Hunt, and Chiefs Kingdom was scared that the season was over. Slowly, however, another starter has emerged.
With Spencer Ware out with a hamstring injury in Week 16, Damien Williams had a huge game. He ran 103 yards on 13 carries. This is a very small sample size, but it seems that the running back by committee will continue into the postseason. It is also important to mention that Charcandrick West may be regaining his status as the go-to third down back. West was in for 19 snaps and made the most of it with two receptions for 37 yds and a TD—courtesy of another head-turning pass from Patrick Mahomes.
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When it comes to the wide receivers, the same suspects are still producing in the absence of Sammy Watkins. Tyreek Hill and Chris Conley are clearly the top two wideouts, and Demarcus Robinson is the number three for now. Kelvin Benjamin was on the field for about 20 percent of the offensive snaps. Look for that to increase going into the postseason, if he can actually show himself reliable. Hopefully, the Chiefs will have a well-needed bye, which should help with bringing Benjamin up to speed.
On defense, head coach Andy Reid tried to give a spark to a struggling secondary. Safety Ron Parker was benched as was cornerback Orlando Scandrick, and cornerback Kendall Fuller did not dress after a surgery that took place last week.
Taking the open slots in the secondary were returning Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry and rookie corner Charvarius Ward. Berry took great strides and played in 86 percent of the defensive snaps which points upwards to his production heading into the postseason. Unfortunately, the loss of Fuller was felt throughout the entire game.
Ward came into the game as a nickel corner, but the injury to Fuller forced him into the line-up. Ward was picked on by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks all night and gave up big plays and costly penalties. Look for Fuller and possible Scandrick to return in the Week 17 bout against the Raiders to win the AFC West and the number one seed in the AFC.
Overall, there will not be any depth chart moves except for Damien Williams maintaining the feature back role. When it comes to the defensive side of the ball, Berry will continue to solidify his role as the general of the defense, but the only cornerbacks that can be counted on are Nelson and Fuller.