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Chiefs offensive snap-count observations: Spencer Ware remains workhorse despite Jamaal Charles’ return

Chiefs running back Spencer Ware and his recent fumbles

Kansas City Star Chiefs beat reporter Terez Paylor asked Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy about Spencer Ware's recent fumbles.
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Kansas City Star Chiefs beat reporter Terez Paylor asked Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy about Spencer Ware's recent fumbles.

Here are some observations based on the offensive snap-count data from the Chiefs’ 43-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. They are followed by the numbers from Week 3, Week 2 and Week 1. “DND” denotes “did not dress.” “R” denotes “rookie.” “C” denotes “game captain,” as selected by coach Andy Reid.


PlayerWeek 4Week 3Week 2Week 1
Alex Smith75 (100 percent)63 (100 percent)64 (100 percent)71 (100 percent)
Nick Foles0000

Analysis: Nothing of note here.


PlayerWeek 4Week 3Week 2Week 1
Spencer Ware54 (72 percent)45 (71 percent)36 (56 percent)34 (48 percent)
Jamaal Charles10 (13 percent)DNDDNDDND
Knile Davis7 (9 percent)1 (2 percent)1 (2 percent)0
Anthony Sherman010 (16 percent)10 (16 percent)1 (1 percent)
Charcandrick West014 (22 percent)26 (41 percent)34 (48 percent)

Analysis: Ware continues to dominate the majority of the touches, as his snap percentage actually rose a tad despite the return of star running back Jamaal Charles. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Charles, who dressed and played for the first time in a year, looked okay in his debut, noting that he had to play a single snap in the fourth quarter because Davis left the game under concussion protocol. Charles, it should be noted, logged a much-lower snap percentage than West – who missed the game with an ankle injury – did in any of the first three weeks, so it might be wise for fantasy owners to continue to be patient with Charles and not play him until he’s proven that he’s ready for a bigger workload. Perhaps the low snap count had to do with the wet weather and the early deficit, but starting him is probably a no_go for a bit, unless Reid’s tune about him changes when players return next week from the bye.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that Sherman – who logged a total of 20 snaps the previous two weeks – did not earn an offensive rep. That was probably due to the early deficit, as Sherman is primarily a blocker and not someone who plays when the Chiefs need to open it up.


PlayerWeek 4Week 3Week 2Week 1
Jeremy Maclin72 (96 percent)60 (95 percent)63 (98 percent)65 (92 percent)
Chris Conley70 (93 percent)51 (81 percent)54 (84 percent)61 (86 percent)
Albert Wilson51 (68 percent)21 (33 percent)41 (64 percent)49 (69 percent)
Tyreek Hill (R)18 (24 percent)12 (19 percent)7 (11 percent)10 (14 percent)
Demarcus Robinson (R)1 (1 percent)02 (3 percent)0

Analysis: The Chiefs were forced to pay from behind from the get-go, as a 22-point first-quarter deficit forced them to turn to their go-to three-wide sets early. That’s why Wilson earned so much work, though it’s interesting that Hill’s snaps continue to rise. Hill’s rare speed and burst make him an intriguing offensive weapon, and the staff has high hopes for him. Robinson, a fourth-round rookie, earned a rare snap.

Thomas, the Chiefs’ fourth-round pick in 2014, hasn’t dressed once this season.


PlayerWeek 4Week 3Week 2Week 1
Travis Kelce71 (95 percent)58 (92 percent)55 (86 percent)62 (87 percent)
Demetrius Harris (C)15 (20 percent)31 (49 percent)19 (30 percent)28 (39 percent)
Ross Travis6 (8 percent)11 (17 percent)6 (9 percent)11 (15 percent)
James O'Shaughnessy01 (2 percent)00

Analysis: The Chiefs’ early deficit limited their trust two-tight end sets, as Harris played a season low in snaps (15) and snap percentage (20 percent). Travis also played a season-low with eight percent of the snaps while O’Shaughnessy didn’t see the field after earning a snap last week in their ultra-rare “14” personnel (one running back, four tight end) grouping.


PlayerWeek 3Week 2Week 1
Eric Fisher (C)75 (100 percent)63 (100 percent)64 (100 percent)71 (100 percent)
Zach Fulton75 (100 percent)63 (100 percent)64 (100 percent)0
Mitch Morse75 (100 percent)63 (100 percent)64 (100 percent)71 (100 percent)
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif75 (100 percent)0DND71 (100 percent)
Mitch Schwartz75 (100 percent)63 (100 percent)64 (100 percent)71 (100 percent)
Jah ReidDNDDND64 (100 percent)0
Jordan Devey063 (100 percent)00
Parker Ehinger (R)0DNDDND71 (100 percent)
Bryan Witzmann000DND

Analysis: Duvernay-Tardif stepped back into the starting lineup after dealing with a high ankle sprain for two games. Notice that he was active last week, but didn’t play. That’s the same situation Ehinger, who had missed the previous two games with a concussion and foot injury, found himself in this week. That suggests he might be ready to re-take his starting left guard job from Zach Fulton when the Chiefs face the Raiders in two weeks. With Reid hurt, Devey is presumably the next man up on the interior, with the untested Witzman likely earning the nod on the outside, if necessary.