Chiefs snap counts, Week 16: Willie Gay Jr. plays career-high snap total

Charles Goldman
·3 min read

The Kansas City Chiefs had a few defenders absent against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. They were without two of their starting linebackers heading into the game and lost one of their replacements after just a few defensive series. There were a lot of new linebackers getting snaps for the first time because of those injuries. So what else can we learn about the snap totals from Week 16?

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

*Snap counts via NFL Game Statistics and Information System

Observations

  • Sammy Watkins actually played the second-most offensive snaps to any skill player despite his calf injury in the fourth quarter. Tyreek Hill, who came into the game with a hamstring issue, played just 43 offensive snaps. That’s under 65% of the offensive snaps. I wouldn’t say he was on a pitch count, but they worked to ensure he didn’t reaggravate that hamstring.

  • Le’Veon Bell notched the start for the Chiefs, but Andy Reid mentioned he was banged up during the game. He would only play 20 snaps on the day and didn’t play a single snap in the fourth quarter.

  • Instead, Darrel Williams led the backfield in both snaps and carries. He had exactly 70% of the snap share and looked really good for Kansas City when he did carry and catch the ball.

  • Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman both had exactly 41 offensive snaps. That might have played out differently had Sammy Watkins not suffered an injury.

  • Nick Keizer out-snapped Deon Yelder this week with 13 offensive snaps. Yelder actually caught a pass on his seven snaps and looked good doing so. He should see more action in the passing game with plays like that.

  • Ricky Seals-Jones, active for the second time this year, played four offensive snaps on the day. That’s double the offensive snaps than his first game active back in Week 6.

  • Darius Harris played the most defensive snaps on the team of any player that didn’t play every defensive snap. He wore the green dot when Ben Niemann was injured, operating as the defensive signal-caller for Kansas City. It was the first action Harris saw on defense and a career-high in snaps.

  • Willie Gay Jr. was right behind Harris with 49 snaps on defense. That’s a career-high in snaps for the rookie linebacker. He had an alright game. It gave some context to why he wasn’t getting more snaps to begin with and why he needs to get more snaps moving forward.

  • L’Jarius Sneed was on the field often as the Falcons employed a lot of personnel that required a third cornerback. He played in over 70% of the defensive snaps because of it.

  • Ben Niemann played in just 24 snaps before a hamstring injury. He was actually having a very solid game prior to his injury. It’s just something about the Falcons with Niemann. He also had a pick-six against them in the 2018 preseason — a play that helped him earn a roster spot as an undrafted free agent.

  • Juan Thornhill played his second-fewest snaps of the season with 19. The Chiefs seem to be going away from their big nickel package with the emergence of L’Jarius Sneed as a solid nickel corner. It’s better to have three corners on the field to three safeties.

  • Omari Cobb played just 10 snaps in his debut and the undrafted rookie looked raw. He’ll likely have some growing to do before he’s truly ready to make an impact at this level.

  • Antonio Hamilton and Armani Watts led the Chiefs’ special teams in snaps for the second week in a row with 19 snaps apiece.

List

5 takeaways from Chiefs' Week 16 win vs. Falcons

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Cleveland
+380+9.5O 57.5
Kansas City
-500-9.5U 57.5