Chiefs snap counts, AFC Championship Game: Clyde Edwards-Helaire returns

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Charles Goldman
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The Kansas City Chiefs fought their way to a Super Bowl berth against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The snap counts showed us a few things about this team heading into their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. One of those things is that this team is inching back toward full strength, even suffering some injuries during the course of the game.

Here’s a look at how the snaps came down this week:

*Snap counts via NFL Game Statistics and Information System

Observations

  • In his return to action, Chiefs rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire didn’t just earn the start, but he played the most snaps (32) of any running back. I anticipated a bigger workload for Darrel Williams, but it was much closer to a split share between the two players. Edwards-Helaire didn’t have a great outing and was mostly quiet save for his goal-line touchdown.

  • Eric Fisher played in just 48 of 65 offensive snaps before suffering a torn Achilles. He won’t play in Super Bowl LV, which is a big loss for the Chiefs. Stefen Wisniewski saw action at right guard for three snaps when Andrew Wylie came out to get his ankle retaped. As soon as Fisher went out, Wisniewski came back in, playing 20 snaps at right guard on the night.

  • Not Tyreek Hill, Demarcus Robinson or Mecole Hardman led Chiefs receivers in snaps. Instead, it was Byron Pringle who played in 80% of the offensive snaps for Kansas City. He impressed in those snaps too, catching three passes on five targets for 22 yards.

  • L’Jarius Sneed played in just 48 snaps before entering the NFL’s concussion protocol. It felt like he was all over the field and making plays for the Chiefs defense all night, but he was only on the field for 66% of the snaps.

  • Alex Okafor (42 snaps) continues to get more snaps than starting left DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (36 snaps). Okafor hasn’t overtaken him on the depth chart, but it’s clear that Kansas City likes utilizing him off the bench in key situations.

  • Rashad Fenton saw 29 snaps in his return from foot and ankle injuries. He filled in for L’Jarius Sneed when he left the game with injury.

  • Juan Thornhill saw 56 total snaps against the Bills. The team had dialed back his snaps in Week 11, but he’s finally starting to look like himself again after his 2019 season-ending knee injury.

  • The Chiefs rarely used linebacker Damien Wilson in this game, with just 12 snaps on the day. Anthony Hitchens and Ben Niemann were often on the field and the team used Daniel Sorensen as a dime package sub-linebacker often too.

  • Antonio Hamilton, Dorian O’Daniel and Ben Niemann led the way with 23 special teams snaps each. A total of seven non-specialists only played special teams snaps during the game.

List

The morning after a Chiefs AFC Championship Game win