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Snap-count observations: Hemingway is Chiefs’ clear-cut fourth receiver

12/10/2013 11:23 AM

12/10/2013 5:44 PM

Here are some observations based on the snap-count data from the Chiefs’ 45-10 win over Washington on Dec. 8. Numbers provided by the NFL.

*So, just one week after I wrote

this

, the Chiefs blew out Washington and proceeded to play A.J. Jenkins a grand total of three offensive snaps. Guys, that’s 30 fewer than Junior Hemingway, who logged a season-high in snaps Sunday (with 33) but was taken roughly six rounds later than Jenkins was in the 2012 NFL Draft.

In a way, the vast disparity in snaps between the two on Sunday doesn’t really surprise me. Hemingway is a superior blocker, which certainly came in handy considering the icy weather. But with a snap differential like this (in a blowout, no less), it’s also possible he’s simply the superior receiver.

No matter how you slice it, Hemingway has consistently received more playing time than Jenkins, which indicates that at the very least, the staff trusts him more. That’s not a great sign for Jenkins going forward, especially with the Chiefs expected to make wide receiver an area of focus this offseason.

*I found it interesting that running back Cyrus Gray gobbled up 10 of the 26 offensive snaps that Jamaal Charles didn’t play. Gray probably lacks the physical upside of third-round rookie Knile Davis, who played 16 snaps, so you wonder if the staff wanted to reward Gray for his hard work on special teams. On the other hand, Davis carried the ball on 11 of 16 his offensive snaps, while Gray carried it only three times in 10 snaps. That ratio suggests they had/have more faith in Gray as a blocker than they do Davis, which wouldn’t be a big surprise.

*Jon Asamoah and Rokevious Watkins served as the backup guards behind Jeff Allen and Geoff Schwartz. I find it interesting that Watkins, who played 15 snaps in his Chiefs debut, has seemingly leapfrogged Rishaw Johnson on the depth chart. Only a few weeks ago Johnson actually logged a few snaps at guard when Geoff Schwartz moved to tight end in the Chiefs’ heavy goal line personnel. But Johnson was inactive Sunday, and apparently healthy — he wasn’t listed on the injury report prior to the game — while Watkins got a chance to play.

As for Asamoah ... wow. It appears he’s lost his job at right guard to Schwartz. He wasn’t listed on the injury report this week and he still couldn’t crack the starting lineup. If this continues, it’s a tough blow for him in a contract year. He’s actually played pretty decent — his Pro Football Focus grade is plus-7.0, which is pretty darn good. In fact, it’s the third-best on the line, overall — behind left tackle Branden Albert (plus-10 in 800 snaps) and Schwartz (plus-13.1 in only 386 snaps!) — and is much better than starting left guard Jeff Allen’s grade (negative-13.6 in 796 snaps). But Allen has been playing hurt, and is only in his second year with plenty of room to grow, while Asamoah is a fourth-year guy. Regardless, this starting guard situation bears watching going forward.

*Congratulations to center Rodney Hudson, who is the only player on either side of the ball to play every single snap of every single game since Week 2.

Defense

*So much for the

Dunta Robinson-Marcus Cooper argument

. Robinson was active but failed to log a single snap against Washington, despite the fact the Chiefs played their second-team defense plenty in the fourth quarter. Even a youngster like defensive back Ron Parker got 10 snaps, which certainly isn’t a good sign for Robinson’s immediate chances for playing time.

*Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Josh Martin continues to get more work on special teams. Martin made his career debut a week ago, thanks to Frank Zombo’s promotion to the starting lineup, and played 65 percent of the special teams snaps on Sunday, compared to just 50 percent last week. Zombo, meanwhile, saw his special teams usage decrease from 36 percent against Denver to 13 percent against Washington.

*Speaking of Martin ... don’t sleep on the fact he played 13 defensive snaps in mopup duty while Dezman Moses only played four. Moses struggled to make an impact in his first extended action of the season against San Diego; perhaps this was the staff wanting to see what Martin could do, just in case they get put in a position where Hali and Houston are both hurt again.

*No surprise here ... but the Chiefs got to use their base 3-4 personnel a ton, as inside linebacker Akeem Jordan played 29 defensive snaps. He played 35 in the three previous games

combined (

against pass-happy teams in San Diego and Denver). In turn, third safety Quintin Demps saw his defensive snap percentage decrease from 90 percent against Denver to 57 percent against Washington.

*That said, I still found it very interesting that Allen Bailey logged the most snaps of any of the Chiefs’ defensive ends. With 33, he had more than starters Tyson Jackson (29) and Mike DeVito (29). That may have had something to do with the fact Washington got in an early hole and Bailey is considered a superior pass rusher to both. But still.

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