Chiefs snap counts: Jerick McKinnon surges to RB1

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The Kansas City Chiefs played a near-even number of snaps on offense and defense in the wild-card round win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. It’s not too surprising given the early game punts and turnovers from both squads. It’s also good from a recovery standpoint as they get ready to host the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round.

What else can we learn from this week’s snap counts? Here’s a look at how the snaps played out in the wild-card round:

*Snap counts via NFL Game Statistics and Information System

Observations

  • Jerick McKinnon wasn’t just the workhorse running back for the Chiefs on Sunday, he played more snaps than any other skill player for the team. That includes Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. It’s something of a rarity this season for Kansas City.

  • Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore both didn’t even crack ten snaps on Sunday. The Chiefs were really riding the hot-hand with McKinnon and they could see more of that in the divisional round.

  • Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle played the exact same amount of snaps on offense on Sunday night, with Demarcus Robinson not far behind. Each of the three players made their presence felt during the game, which seems important with teams devoting so much attention to Kelce and Hill.

  • Daurice Fountain played just three snaps on offense on Sunday. With 18 snaps on special teams, it’s clear they wanted to add another receiver with special teams prowess to the mix.

  • Nick Allegretti played just two offensive snaps on Sunday and found the endzone on one of them. I’d call that a highly productive day on offense for a backup offensive lineman.

  • No defenders played 100% of the snaps for the Chiefs on Sunday for the first time in a while. Juan Thornhill came close with 67-of-68 possible snaps.

  • Nick Bolton led all Chiefs linebackers in snaps against the Steelers. They clearly wanted his run-stopping prowess on the field against RB Najee Harris and it worked, as the team held him to just 30 yards on 12 carries.

  • Tershawn Wharton played a healthy dose of snaps this week. He seems to be carving out a more significant role on defense as the season has gone on.

  • Mike Hughes was the biggest beneficiary of Rashad Fenton’s pregame back injury. He played over 85% of the defensive snaps as a result.

  • Zayne Anderson played six snaps on defense and 20 snaps on special teams. No egregious errors from the rookie this week after Steve Spagnuolo threw his support behind him.

  • Noah Gray led all Chiefs players in special teams snaps, with Ben Niemann, Dorian O’Daniel and Armani Watts not far behind him.

List

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