Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid and his team will face their first division opponent this Sunday in Los Angeles against the Chargers. He spoke about the preparation for AFC West opponents. The Raiders and Broncos are 2-0 and the Chargers, though 0-2, have lost by a combined five points. David Eulitt The Kansas City Star
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid and his team will face their first division opponent this Sunday in Los Angeles against the Chargers. He spoke about the preparation for AFC West opponents. The Raiders and Broncos are 2-0 and the Chargers, though 0-2, have lost by a combined five points. David Eulitt The Kansas City Star

Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Red Zone

Chiefs snap analysis: How Allen Bailey is assuming Dontari Poe’s mantle, and more

By Terez A. Paylor

tpaylor@kcstar.com

September 19, 2017 12:51 PM

Here are some observations based on the snap-count data from the Kansas City Chiefs’ 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The snap data is provided by the NFL; the statistical data is provided by Pro Football Focus. The analysis? That’s yours truly.

Quarterback

Alex Smith: 53 (100%)

Patrick Mahomes: 0

Tyler Bray: INA

▪ Smith played every snap, though there was a moment where it didn’t appear that would be the case. In the second quarter, he absorbed a massive blow that caused him to get up slowly. The Chiefs even called a timeout to let him collect himself. After that, Smith was sacked twice times before the end of the half and seemed skittish in the pocket. He bounced back in the second half with a nice performance, however, showing toughness.

▪ Smith did a nice job getting rid of the ball quickly, completing 18 of 22 passes with one touchdown on passes thrown in 2.5 seconds or less.

Running back

Kareem Hunt: 39 (74%)

Charcandrick West: 11 (21%)

Anthony Sherman: 1 (2%)

Akeem Hunt: 0

▪ Kareem Hunt garnered even more of a load after his breakout performance in Week 1, earning 17 percent more snaps than he did against New England. This might have played a role in causing West’s playing time to fall from 34 percent to 21 percent.

▪ Hunt, by the way, has a real gift for making people miss. He forced six missed tackles on Sunday and has now forced 14 missed tackles this season, the most among all NFL running backs.

▪ Akeem Hunt earned the call-up from the practice squad and immediately contributed 14 special-teams snaps.

Wide receiver

Tyreek Hill: 47 (89%)

Chris Conley: 46 (87%)

Albert Wilson: 34 (64%)

De’Anthony Thomas: 4 (8%)

Demarcus Robinson: 2 (4%)

Jehu Chesson: INA

▪ Hill saw his workload increase from 74 percent a week ago. You can attribute that to the cramps that set in late in the second half against New England, which affected his workload in that game.

▪ The Chiefs continue to use a healthy amount of three-tight end sets, with Wilson as the No. 3 receiver.

▪ Both Thomas and Robinson saw their workload percentages fall slightly compared to last week.

▪ Thomas still logged 73 percent of the special teams snaps, while Robinson only logged 17 percent. That’s a pretty steep drop-off for Robinson from a year ago, when he played 62 percent of the snaps on special teams. Might be something to keep an eye on in the future.

▪ I find it interesting that Chesson was inactive after appearing on 15 special teams snaps a week ago.

Tight end

Travis Kelce: 51 (96%)

Demetrius Harris: 24 (45%)

Ross Travis: 6 (11%)

▪ Kelce might be frustrating coach Andy Reid with his on-field behavior, but he’s been a rock for the Chiefs’ offense through two weeks, appearing on all but three plays against the Patriots and Eagles. I can’t remember a two-game stretch where Kelce has played so much. It might exist; I’m just saying I don’t remember it.

▪ Kelce has also proven to be a reliable target this season, catching all 13 of the catchable passes that have been thrown his way in 2017. On Sunday, he caught eight of nine targets for 103 yards and a touchdown.

▪ Harris played 67 percent of the special teams snaps.

▪ The Chiefs have shifted away from so many multiple-tight end sets –– at least somewhat –– through two weeks. Last year at this point, the Chiefs’ tight ends played 74 percent of the snaps. This year, they’ve played 66 percent of the snaps.

Offensive line

Eric Fisher: 53 (100%)

Bryan Witzmann: 53 (100%)

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif: 53 (100%)

Mitch Schwartz: 53 (100%)

Mitch Morse: 46 (87%)

Zach Fulton: 7 (13%)

Cameron Erving: 0

Parker Ehinger: INA

Jordan Devey: INA

▪ Morse missed seven snaps due to a foot sprain that was not as serious as it could have been. I expect them to be fine with Fulton at center for the next few weeks; the problem could come if someone else gets hurt and Ehinger, who has been working his way back from a torn ACL, isn’t quite ready to go. Erving and Devey both have to prove themselves here.

▪ Duvernay-Tardif appears to be off to a solid start in pass protection after signing his massive extension this offseason. In 73 pass-block snaps, he’s yet to yield a pressure or a sack. Only seven guards in the NFL can say that right now.

▪ Schwartz, according to PFF, yielded a sack and a hurry on Sunday. For the season, he’s yielded four hurries.

Defensive line

Allen Bailey: 60 (83%)

Bennie Logan: 37 (51%)

Chris Jones: 32 (44%)

Rakeem Nunez-Roches: 26 (36%)

Roy Miller III: 9 (12%)

Jarvis Jenkins: INA

▪ The Chiefs’ defensive front was nasty this week, sacking Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz six times. Wentz only completed 2 of 10 passes for 10 yards under pressure.

▪ It looks like Bailey is the odds-on favorite to win the Dontari Poe Award, which I just made up but is handed to the Chiefs defensive lineman who plays an absurd amount of snaps. Bailey has earned more than 80 percent of the snaps the first two weeks, which is in line with Poe’s workload, pre-back issues. Bailey, by the way, has looked terrific this season and is as responsible as anyone for the amount of pressure they’ve generated up front.

▪ Jones had a monster game, recording three sacks and an interception, and the fact he did that on only 44 percent of the snaps is insane.

▪ Jones, Logan, Miller and Nunez-Roches all saw their snaps decrease slightly this week.

Outside linebacker

Justin Houston: 70 (97%)

Dee Ford: 67 (93%)

Frank Zombo: 7 (10%)

Tanoh Kpassagnon: 0

▪ Houston, the KC Star player of the game, was outstanding, recording five tackles, a sack and a deflection. He also had five run stops as he once again put his all-around chops on display. As a pass rusher, his nine pressures this season is tied for the fourth-most among all outside linebackers in the NFL.

▪ It appears Zombo got all of his defensive snaps when either Houston or Ford weren’t in the game. He continues to be a special teams stalwart, recording a team-high 83 percent of the snaps there. So did Pierre-Louis.

▪ Smith also carried a special teams workload, playing 63 percent of the snaps there.

Inside linebacker

Derrick Johnson: 72 (100%)

Ramik Wilson: 14 (19%)

Kevin Pierre-Louis: 1 (1%)

Ukeme Eligwe: 0

Terrance Smith: 0

Reggie Ragland: INA

▪ Wilson saw his playing time fall from 31 percent to 19 percent, but much of that had to do with the decision to use Daniel Sorensen –– who played every defensive snap –– as a dime linebacker often against the Eagles.

Cornerback

Marcus Peters: 72 (100%)

Terrence Mitchell: 72 (100%)

Phillip Gaines: 57 (79%)

Kenneth Acker: 2 (3%)

D.J. White: INA

▪ While the Patriots only tested Peters once, the Eagles were not as worried about him as they decided to throw at him eight times. Peters allowed six receptions for 71 yards, a mark he only surrendered in coverage three times all of last season.

▪ Acker earned his first defensive playing time of the season. At least one of those snaps came on the final play of the game, when he was part of the Chiefs’ prevent package.

Safety

Ron Parker: 72 (100%)

Daniel Sorensen: 72 (100%)

Eric Murray: 50 (69%)

Steven Terrell: 0

▪ Thanks to Eric Berry’s season-ending injury, Murray logged a career-high in snaps played. Sorensen, as expected, is the starter. Both of them flashed at different points on Sunday, with Murray contributing one of the most underrated plays of the game. Murray was targetd in coverage eight times, allowing four receptions for 86 yards, but he did have two passes defended. Eagles tight end Zach Ertz got him for three catches and 76 yards on five targets when Murraya had the covarage

▪ Sorensen deserves an award for his workload Sunday. Not only did he play every defensive snap, he also logged 63 percent of the special teams snaps.

▪ Terrell, who was signed last week, contributed with 14 snaps on special teams.

KC Star snap-counts archive

Week 1: Conley, Kelce carry large workloads in Chiefs’ win over Pats

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