Here are some observations based on the snap-count data from the Chiefs’ 27-20 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. Numbers are provided by the NFL.
▪ The Chiefs used their tight ends plenty against the Texans: Travis Kelce (56 snaps), Demetrius Harris (30 snaps) and James O’Shaughnessy (13 snaps).
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▪ Jeremy Maclin was on the field for 93 percent of the Chiefs’ offensive plays, which is notable. Dwayne Bowe’s percentage typically hovered in the 70s and 80s last year. The thing is, Maclin likely would have played even more if he weren’t shaken up for a few plays following a hard fall he took on a deep pass that was ruled incomplete.
▪ The Chiefs did a nice job working running back Knile Davis into the mix. Jamaal Charles got the majority of the work, earning 74 percent of the snaps, but Davis was in the rest of the time, which seems about right.
▪ Albert Wilson is the clear No. 2 receiver. Chris Conley only played five snaps.
▪ Looks like the De’Anthony Thomas (18 snaps) and Jason Avant (11 snaps) timeshare in the slot is a pretty good match. The two have complimentary skills.
▪ Eric Fisher did play one snap Sunday for Donald Stephenson. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Stephenson had a finger injury and will be fine.
▪ Unlike last year’s season opener, when the Chiefs struggled with balance — remember Travis Kelce only was on the field for 32 percent of the Chiefs’ plays against the Titans a year ago? — give coach Andy Reid credit for mixing things up.
▪ A year ago, Derrick Johnson suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. On Sunday, he played every defensive snap. What a comeback.
▪ In the same vein, safety Eric Berry played 48 snaps — the third-most behind starters Ron Parker and Husain Abdullah. Again, what an outstanding comeback for a man who beat lymphoma. Kudos to the three-time Pro Bowler for also chipping on seven special-teams snaps, including some on punt return.
▪ Jamell Fleming — not Marcus Cooper or Steven Nelson — served as the Chiefs’ third cornerback. When they lined up in nickel, Fleming manned the right corner spot, with Gaines shifting inside to guard the slot receiver.
▪ Dontari Poe logged 32 plays. Few would have predicted he’d even play that many in the opener after undergoing back surgery for a herniated disk only two months ago. Says a lot about him.
▪ Dee Ford only appeared in nine percent of the Chiefs’ defensive plays a year ago, but on Sunday he logged 16 snaps — 21 percent. Good start for the Chiefs, who have said all year they’d like to get their 2014 first-round pick more involved.
▪ As expected, safety Daniel Sorensen, linebacker Frank Zombo and running back Charcandrick West were the Chiefs’ special-teams warriors. So was rookie linebacker D.J. Alexander.