Here is the offensive snap-count data from the Kansas City Chiefs’ 33-10 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, along with some personal observations and advanced stats from Pro Football Focus. Snaps for the entire season are also listed.
(You should also read my snap observations on the defense and special teams.)
KEY: “*” denotes starter. “R” denotes rookie. “C” denotes game captain. “INJ” denotes injury. “N/A” denotes the player was not a Chief at the time. “PS” denotes practice squad. “INA” denotes inactive.
Analysis: Alex Smith played all but one snap, when he was replaced by nose tackle Dontari Poe late in the fourth quarter on Poe’s passing touchdown to Demetrius Harris.
PFF says: Alex Smith got the ball out extremely quickly this week; his average time to attempt a pass (2.08 seconds) was the fastest among qualifying quarterbacks, with Andy Dalton of the Bengals finishing with the second-fastest time (2.20 seconds).
Smith also attempted 76 percent of his passes in 2.5 seconds or less, but was 6 of 7 with a 103.6 quarterback rating on throws he made after 2.6 seconds or more. He posted an 80 quarterback rating on throws made quicker than that.
Smith, overall, had a solid day, completing 25 of 36 passes for 244 yards, a touchdown and an interception. But he didn’t have much success targeting Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib; they were targeted eight times but allowed only 24 yards.
Analysis: Charcandrick West ate into Spencer Ware’s workload, though most of that had to do with Ware’s late-game rib injury. Coach Andy Reid said Ware could have returned to the game if needed; he was just being careful.
PFF says: The Chiefs’ running backs forced nine missed tackles, though four of those came via Tyreek Hill.
Analysis: Hill continues to be the third wheel at receiver, at least when it comes to reps. But when it comes to touches, he’s the clear second banana to star tight end Travis Kelce. His six offensive touches were tied for the second-most among wideouts, and while those all came via running plays, he was also targeted five times as a receiver.
Jeremy Maclin, who continues to pace the Chiefs’ receivers in snaps, caught three passes for 9 yards on four targets. But as I covered on Sunday, he’s feeling pretty good about his health these days, which could be big in the playoffs. Most teams can defend two receiving threats, but three? That’s tough.
PFF says: Tyreek Hill continues to shine as an all-around threat for the Chiefs. In his 27 offensive snaps, he lined up as an outside receiver for 11 snaps, in the backfield for 10 snaps and in the slot for six snaps. He also led the Chiefs’ running backs with four missed tackles forced on running plays, an eye-opening number for only six carries.
Analysis: Travis Kelce rarely left the field, playing 70 out of 76 snaps — the most since the Chiefs’ Week 12 win over Denver, when he played 87 snaps. Kelce went off for 11 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. His backup, Demetrius Harris, logged a season-high in snaps while recording season-highs in catches (six), targets (nine), yards (37) and touchdowns (one). The Broncos really missed injured safety T.J. Ward; they simply couldn’t handle the Chiefs’ tight ends.
James O’Shaughnessy also earned the most work he’s had since Week 9, while Poe also received his third offensive snap of the year, which resulted in “Tebow Pop Pass,” which was brilliantly covered here by your boy Sam Mellinger.
PFF says: Kelce’s 4.85 yards per route run was the highest among qualifying tight ends in Week 16, an indication that when Kelce is running a route, he’s doing something with the rock. He absolutely tortured safety Darian Stewart and inside linebacker Todd Davis; the two allowed a combined six catches on seven targets for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Analysis: The unit of Eric Fisher, Zach Fulton, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Mitchell Schwartz yielded just one quarterback hit and four quarterback pressures with zero sacks, a nice performance against the league’s No. 1 defense in sacks. Jah Reid received five snaps in six-lineman sets while Bryan Witzmann earned his first offensive snap of the season as an extra blocker on Poe’s touchdown pass.
PFF says: The Chiefs’ offensive line performed admirably Sunday, as their four pressures allowed were the fifth-fewest in Week 16 among offensive lines. What’s more, the Chiefs held normally-destructive edge rusher Von Miller to only one quarterback hit, zero hurries and zero sacks, though he did have six tackles in the running game.
Overall, the Chiefs’ 83.8 pass-block efficiency rating is the fourth-best in the NFL behind the Packers, Raiders and Steelers; it’s a far cry from the not-too-distant past, when this young group was susceptible to blitzes, stunts and pass-rush games. Remember that when criticizing their performance in short-yardage situations this season; things can always change.