Red Zone

Final snap analysis (offense): Chiefs’ Mitchell Schwartz, the team’s lone ironman

Chiefs guard Mitchell Schwartz was a rock on the Chiefs’ offensive line this season.
Chiefs guard Mitchell Schwartz was a rock on the Chiefs’ offensive line this season.

The Star has tracked every Chiefs player’s snap counts throughout the course of the season. The chart has been updated through the Wild Card round, following the Chiefs’ 22-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

You can find my thoughts on the defense’s final snap-count totals here. You can also find my thoughts on the special teams’ final snap-count totals here.

Alex Smith68535376775462625775
Alex Smith5846756679DNP581019108693.8%
Patrick Mahomes IIDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP63DNP6310865.8%

Snap analysis: Unlike last year, when he missed a game due to “head trauma,” Smith stayed healthy all season. He sat out the season finale against Denver because the Chiefs weren’t playing for anything and coach Andy Reid rested him along with most of the Chiefs’ other starters. Interesting factoid: Smith has only played 16 games once (2015) during his five years in Kansas City. He rested in the season finale against the Chargers in 2013 and missed the last game in 2014 due to a lacerated spleen.

Kareem Hunt39393750554245463150
Charcandrick West23111420213INA (conc.)122320
Anthony Sherman12191225998313
Akeem HuntPS013064103
Kareem Hunt3840514354541706108665.0%
Charcandrick West16INA (Pers)201723INA (Sick)16239108622.0%
Anthony Sherman62838533184108616.9%
Akeem Hunt6624016IR (Ank.)5210864.8%
C.J. SpillerFAFAFAFAFAFAINA1210861.1%

Snap analysis: Hunt finished with 706 total snaps, which is the most in a season by a Chiefs running back since 2013, when Jamaal Charles (who was at the peak of his powers) logged 845 snaps. For the sake of comparison, Charles’ offensive snap percentage (78.2) was still much higher than Hunt’s this season, as West handled a healthy portion of the third-down duties in 2017 despite the fact that his overall workload fell from 34.3 percent a year ago to 22 percent this season.

With Spencer Ware set to return from a knee injury this year, it will be interesting to see how the Chiefs divy up the snaps next season. Ware is a good back, and you could make a compelling argument that due to Hunt’s unimposing size (5 foot 11, 216 pounds), it wouldn’t hurt to see his workload fall some. In fact, it might help him avoid a midseason slump similar to the one he had this year. West and Ware are both entering the final year of their deals in 2018, so I’d expect both to be highly motivated to play very well. The Chiefs are set here for 2018, I think.

Tyreek Hill50473958464240533864
Demarcus Robinson5294124961515672
Albert Wilson3934274332INA (knee)3316INA (ham.)INA (ham.)
Chris Conley6446437168IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)
De'Anthony Thomas847311354143928
Jehu Chesson0INAINAINAINA00047
Tyreek Hill4842696367INA (Pers)56822108675.7%
Demarcus Robinson51294437426245631108658.1%
Albert Wilson46426662682858594108654.7%
Chris ConleyIR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)IR (Ach.)292108626.9%
De'Anthony Thomas3388157IR (Leg)197108618.1%
Jehu Chesson102036708410867.7%
Marcus KempPSPSPSPSPSPS41210861.1%

Snap analysis: Hill dispelled any notions about his ability to be a No. 1 receiver this season. He saw his snap percentage rise from 40.6 percent to 75.7, only slightly off the mark set by Jeremy Maclin (82.6 percent) in 2015.

Wilson, in particular, had a really interesting season. Once Conley went down for the year, the Chiefs decided to go with Robinson as their No. 2 receiver for the next month, only see see Wilson overtake him in that spot by December. The offense, perhaps not coincidentally, improved once that happened, because Alex Smith is very comfortable with Wilson. A pending free agent, it will be interesting to see what kind of market he has.

Travis Kelce67515371395258585474
Demetrius Harris25242240551831412019
Ross Travis86441461310519
Travis Kelce5642696068INA29901108683.0%
Demetrius Harris16192827356234516108647.5%
Orson CharlesPS37693546410865.9%

Snap analysis: Not much out of the ordinary here. Both Kelce (86.7 percent) and Harris (44.9 percent) played about as much as they did last year.

Mitch Schwartz68535376775462625775
Eric Fisher68535376775462625775
Bryan Witzmann6853537677546262570
Zach Fulton07537677546262075
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif6853532INA (knee)INA (knee)INA (knee)INA (knee)5775
Mitch Morse6846INA (foot)INA (foot)INA (foot)INA (foot)INA (foot)625775
Cam ErvingDNP0DNP1775462026
Jordan DeveyFAINA074700INAINAINA
Mitch Schwartz5846756679675810861086100.0%
Eric Fisher58467566790581019108693.8%
Bryan Witzmann0297566796758936108686.2%
Zach Fulton5846756679DNP58848108678.1%
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif5846756679DNP58690108663.5%
Mitch Morse5817INA (foot)IR (foot)IR (foot)IR (foot)IR (foot)383108635.3%
Cam Erving221DNP367DNP277108625.5%
Jordan DeveyINAINA000670148108613.6%
Parker EhingerINAINAINAINAINA67INA6710866.2%

Snap analysis: Schwartz is a boss. He’s the only Chief to log every potential snap on his side of the ball, the second year in a row he’s done that in Kansas City.

Also, Fulton logged an impressive 78.2 snap percentage this season, despite opening the year as the team’s sixth O-lineman. The same thing happened to him a year ago, when he finished with a 78.3 snap percentage. It’s easy to forget Fulton was a full-time starter as a rookie in 2014, too, so this is a guy who has played a ton of snaps for the Chiefs the last four years. If he leaves as an unrestricted free agent this spring, it will be a legitimate loss.

Injuries hampered Duvernay-Tardif and Morse, who each posted their lowest snap percentage of the last three seasons.

Lastly, Fisher took a lot of criticism for sitting out the opener against Houston and J.J. Watt in 2015 due to an ankle injury, but he’s been a consistent presence at left tackle the last two years. After logging every snap in 2016, he only failed to do so this year because Reid deemed him too important to risk injury and sat him for the season finale against Denver.