Red Zone

Snap-count observations: More work for Anthony Sherman, Travis Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) caught a fourth quarter pass for 24 yards against the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. The Chiefs lost 24-17.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) caught a fourth quarter pass for 24 yards against the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. The Chiefs lost 24-17. The Kansas City Star

Here are some observations based on the snap-count data from the Chiefs’ 24-17 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Numbers are provided by the NFL.

OFFENSE

*First of all, the Chiefs ran 86 offensive plays to Denver’s 49. Let’s take a minute to appreciate that.

*Chiefs coach Andy Reid wasn’t kidding when he said he would rectify all the offensive issues from their miserable season opener. After that 26-10 loss to the Titans, I could not help but wonder why tight end Travis Kelce and Anthony Sherman were not playing more, and lo and behold, both earned significantly more playing time this week. Kelce saw his snap count rise from 18 to 32, while Sherman saw his rise from a ridiculously low six to 24. The offense looks different when both players are on the field.

*The Chiefs also found a way to get third tight end Demetrius Harris involved. Harris, who didn’t play last week, logged three snaps and was even targeted once.

*After logging only eight snaps last week, receiver A.J. Jenkins played 24 snaps while Frankie Hammond saw his reps fall from 54 to eight. Jenkins, who caught three passes for 16 yards, was also more productive than Hammond was last week, when he caught one pass for 22 yards.

Meanwhile, Junior Hemingway played 34 snaps as the primarily slot receiver Sunday while Dwayne Bowe (72) and Donnie Avery (68) got most of the work outside.

DEFENSE

*Josh Mauga appears to be the Chiefs’ top inside linebacker right now, because he never left the field. Meanwhile Derrick Johnson’s replacement on the weakside, James-Michael Johnson, played 41 of 49 possible snaps.

*Ron Parker played 33 snaps, but most of those came at safety, where he replaced injured starter Eric Berry after 16 plays.

*The Chiefs did a nice job of rotating their defensive linemen. Allen Bailey played 45 snaps while Dontari Poe played 42, but Jaye Howard (19), Kevin Vickerson (12) and Vance Walker (eight) all earned playing time.

*Backup outside linebackers Dee Ford (six snaps) and Josh Martin (four) also got a little bit of work for Tamba Hali, who played 39 of 49 snaps.

*Backup safety Kurt Coleman earned his first action with the Chiefs, logging six snaps. That indicates he’ll probably be the third safety ahead of Kelcie McCray (one snap) if Berry is out for a while.

SPECIAL TEAMS

*Reid touted Jerry Franklin’s special-teams ability as the primary reason he was called up to the 53-man roster over 2013 fourth-round pick Nico Johnson, and Franklin’s 11 special-teams snaps reflected that.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.

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