The Kansas City Chiefs secured their seventh victory of the season as they faced off against the Miami Dolphins in Week 9, providing the perfect punctuation mark for the first half of the season before their Week 10 bye week.
However, what’s truly intriguing are the developments in snap counts in Frankfurt, Germany, which may hold valuable insights into the Chiefs’ future strategies on offense, defense, and special teams after the bye week. Let’s delve into a breakdown of the Week 9 snap counts and some key takeaways:
A Shift in Wide Receiver Leadership:
For most of the season, the Chiefs have employed a committee approach at the wide receiver position. However, following their Week 8 loss to the Denver Broncos, the team altered their strategy.
Notably, rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice emerged as the new leader in snaps at the wide receiver position. Rice, along with Justin Watson and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, commanded the majority of snaps, establishing a clear hierarchy.
Other Chiefs wide receivers saw limited action, with none of them logging more than 15 snaps. This shift raises questions about the future composition of the receiving corps, particularly the decreased snap count of Skyy Moore and the underutilization of Kadarius Toney, who possesses exceptional yard-after-catch tackle-breaking skills.
Omenihu’s Ascending Snap Count:
Defensive lineman Charles Omenihu has steadily seen an increase in his snap count in each of the three weeks since his return. In Week 9, he achieved a career-high snap count with Kansas City, playing 70% of the defensive snaps.
It appears that this level of involvement may be indicative of his role for the remainder of the season. Omenihu has made a significant impact with nine total tackles, a tackle for loss, 1.5 sacks, and a pass defensed at the line of scrimmage in just three games this season.
Versatility Shines in Chiefs’ Secondary:
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has continued to find ways to integrate versatile players into the secondary. Mike Edwards, in particular, has maintained an average of around 50% of the defensive snaps since Week 4.
Additionally, Chamarri Conner showcased his versatility by matching his season-high in defensive snaps in Week 9 and recording a season-high in special teams snaps (22).
Special Teams Insights:
In terms of special teams, Wanya Morris, Nick Allegretti, Lucas Niang, Nic Jones, Cam Jones, and Darius Harris were limited to special teams-only snaps in Week 9. Jack Cochrane and Chamarri Conner shared the team lead in special teams snaps.
In conclusion, the Week 9 snap counts have unveiled a changing landscape for the Kansas City Chiefs, with the emergence of a new WR1 and the continuing ascent of Charles Omenihu.
Furthermore, the Chiefs’ coaching staff has demonstrated their ability to utilize versatile players effectively in both the defensive secondary and special teams, setting the stage for an exciting second half of the season.