Red Zone

Defensive snap-count observations: Dee Ford rarely left the field

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford saw a lot of action against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford saw a lot of action against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Associated Press

Here are some observations based on the defensive snap-count data from the Chiefs’ 34-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. Numbers are provided by the NFL.

INTERIOR D-LINE

Dontari Poe — 72 of 79

Jaye Howard — 70 of 79

Mike DeVito — 24 of 79

Nick Williams — 19 of 79

Rakeem Nunez-Roches — 4 of 79

Injuries along the Chiefs’ defensive front has led to Poe assuming a superhuman workload again. The eventual return of Allen Bailey will be a big help, especially since DeVito — who suffered a concussion against the Vikings in mid-October — was forced to leave Sunday’s game to go through concussion protocol again.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

Dee Ford — 75 of 79

Tamba Hali — 74 of 79

Frank Zombo — 6 of 79

Dezman Moses — 3 of 79

This was easily the biggest workload of Ford’s career, and that’s good. He needs the live-action work so he can continue to get a feel for chaining together his pass-rush moves. The talent is there, it just needs refinement. It’s hard to imagine the Chiefs wanted to play Hali this many snaps. The eventual return of Justin Houston from his knee strain will lead to a return to normalcy, but if it takes longer than expected, it probably wouldn’t hurt to mix in Zombo and Moses a tad more.

INSIDE LINEBACKER

Derrick Johnson — 79 of 79

Josh Mauga — 27 of 79

Johnson is back to his pre-Achilles’ injury form. He flew all over the place on Sunday and didn’t look his age (33) in the least. The Raiders used a healthy amount of three-wide sets, which kept Mauga off the field as the Chiefs opted to go to their multi-defensive back subpackages. Ramik Wilson did not log any defensive snaps.

CORNERBACK

Sean Smith — 78 of 79

Marcus Peters — 70 of 79

Marcus Cooper — 7 of 79

Cooper earned some snaps in the fourth quarter when Peters went down with a calf strain. That proves he is still ahead of 2015 third-round pick Steven Nelson on the depth chart.

SAFETY

Ron Parker — 79 of 79

Eric Berry — 79 of 79

Tyvon Branch — 64 of 79

Daniel Sorensen — 39 of 79

The Raiders threw a bunch of three-wide personnel at the Chiefs, so guys like Branch and Sorensen got a lot of playing time. Sorensen saw a sharp increase in snaps since Husain Abdullah missed the game with a concussion. He showed good hustle and was often around the line of scrimmage, as he played linebacker next to Derrick Johnson on multiple occasions. Parker is listed as a safety but he played a healthy amount of nickel corner.

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