Here are some observations based on the offensive snap-count data and personnel groupings from the Chiefs’ 33-27 victory over San Diego in the season opener on Sunday. Snap-count numbers are provided by the NFL, while personnel groupings are charted by The Star.
Alex Smith – 71 of 71 (100 percent)
Analysis: Nothing of note here.
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Spencer Ware – 34 (48 percent)
Charcandrick West – 34 (48 percent)
Anthony Sherman – 1 (1 percent)
Analysis: With Jamaal Charles sitting out, it appears Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West are in a timeshare. Ware posted some gaudy offensive numbers though, racking up 199 yards in 18 touches to West’s 23 yards in nine touches. Knile Davis didn’t play, but he did log 10 special snaps as a kick returner and coverage player on kickoff once Sam Barrington got hurt. Sherman played only one snap, which is worth monitoring going forward. The Chiefs used the fullback less last year than they did the previous year, but one snap is really low for a player who is valued as a solid blocker and receiver. The Chiefs did use one formation, however, that placed Ware and West on the field at the same time. Check that out below.
I also thought this was an interesting sort of college-style “full-house” formation that demonstrates Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s creativity as Tyreek Hill is set directly behind Alex. The Chiefs could potentially run out of this, I’d imagine.
Jeremy Maclin – 65 (92 percent)
Chris Conley – 61 (86 percent)
Albert Wilson – 49 (69 percent)
Tyreek Hill – 10 (14 percent)
Analysis: The Chiefs leaned heavily on their “11” or three-wide personnel, as they called that an astounding 67 percent of the time. Some of that had to do with their large second-half deficit; the Chiefs ran all 24 of their fourth-quarter plays from the shotgun in “11” personnel. Conley is the clear No. 2, Wilson spent most of his time in the slot while Hill was the No. 4. Hill even received some snaps in the slot in “11” personnel ahead of Wilson. That’s worth monitoring going forward. Rookie Demarcus Robinson did not log any offensive snaps but he did play 23 special-teams snaps, including several as gunner. That probably had something to do with the reason De’Anthony Thomas, who is strictly a returner on special teams, was inactive. Reid explained the decision further here. Conley has also graduated from special teams, it appears; he played a lot as a gunner last year but Hill mainly served in that role Sunday.
Travis Kelce – 62 (87 percent)
Demetrius Harris – 28 (39 percent)
Ross Travis – 11 (15 percent)
Analysis: The Chiefs used “12” (two-tight end) personnel 15 percent of the time, and “13” (three tight-end) personnel 12 percent of the time. That made for a healthy amount of work for Travis Kelce’s backups. One thing that was interesting; late in the fourth quarter, when the Chiefs were trying to mount a comeback, there were times where Harris, not Kelce, was the only tight end on the field. Maybe it was a formation thing, or perhaps they were just trying to get Kelce some rest; they were operating in the no-huddle at that point. James O’Shaughnessy didn’t log any offensive snaps but he did play 23 special teams snaps.
Eric Fisher – 71 (100 percent)
Parker Ehinger – 71 (100 percent)
Mitch Morse – 71 (100 percent)
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif – 71 (100 percent)
Mitchell Schwartz – 71 (100 percent)
Analysis: Nothing of note here. Guard/tackle Zach Fulton didn’t play on offense but he did log five special teams snaps, all on extra points.