Kansas City Chiefs Snap Count Breakdown Ahead of Super Bowl 58: Data & Analysis For Chiefs Offensive Snap Counts

The Kansas City Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions and were the preseason favorites to return to the Super Bowl from the AFC. They have reached their fourth Super Bowl in the last five years behind QB Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid. This article breaks down the key offensive players for the AFC Champion Chiefs with a snap count analysis ahead of their Super Bowl LVIII matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

Chiefs Offensive Snap Counts

The Chiefs’ offense was led by Mahomes and All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, while the emergence of second-year RB Isiah Pacheco and rookie WR Rashee Rice created a more balanced offense with more players to worry about. The offensive line was one of the best in the league and stayed healthy most of the season.

Here is a breakdown of the snap counts for each offensive position group, with some notes and analysis.

Chiefs Quarterback Snaps

Here are the Chiefs’ season-long quarterback snap counts.

  • Patrick Mahomes – 19 starts, 1,259 snaps (93.9%)
  • Blaine Gabbert – 2 games (1 start), 79 snaps (6.1%)

Notes and Analysis

  • Mahomes stayed healthy and played nearly every snap for the Chiefs this season. The only time backup Blaine Gabbert saw any action was in garbage time in a blowout win in week 3, and in a meaningless game in week 18.
  • The only other time Mahomes missed any offensive snaps was when the Chiefs ran wildcat formations, which they ran on several occasions with several different players this season (detailed further below)
  • Mahomes had a down year by his standards, posting career lows in passing yards per game (261.4), touchdown rate (4.5%), TD/INT ratio (1.93), yards per completion (10.4), and QB rating (92.6). He also had his fewest pass attempts per game (37.3) since his first year as a starter.

Chiefs Running Back Snaps

Here are the Chiefs’ season-long running back snap counts.

  • Isiah Pacheco – 17 games (16 starts), 723 snaps (53.9%)
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 18 games (3 starts), 279 snaps (20.1%)
  • Jerick McKinnon – 12 games, 264 snaps (19.7%)
  • La’Mical Perine – 3 games (1 start), 61 snaps (4.5%)

Notes and Analysis

  • Pacheco followed up an excellent rookie season with an even better sophomore campaign, establishing himself as the clear lead back in Kansas City. He was on the field for 62.7% of snaps in games in which he played (the 53.9% figure above includes all Chiefs offensive snaps this season, even games Pacheco missed).
  • While Pacheco was the workhorse back, the Chiefs like to rotate their running backs, which has become a hallmark of an Andy Reid offense for most of his career. Part of the reason for Pacheco’s heavy workload was an injury to Jerick McKinnon that kept him out for eight games, including all three playoff games. McKinnon has a chance to return for the Super Bowl.
  • Pacheco got much more involved in the passing game this season compared to his rookie year. He increased his receptions per game from 0.8 to 3.1 and his receiving yards from 7.6 to 17.4. His versatility in the passing game helped him stay on the field for more snaps this season and helped to make up for McKinnon’s absence.

Chiefs Offensive Line Snaps

Below are the Chiefs’ offensive line snap count leaders for each of the starting five OL positions.

  • LT – Donovan Smith (15 starts, 958 snaps, 71.4%)
  • LG – Joe Thuney (19 starts, 1,212 snaps, 90.4%)
  • C – Creed Humphrey (20 starts, 1,301 snaps, 97%)
  • RG – Trey Smith (20 starts, 1,295 snaps, 96.6%)
  • RT – Jawaan Taylor (20 starts, 1,285 snaps, 95.8%)

Here are the Chiefs’ total snap count leaders along the offensive line, regardless of position. We have also included a breakdown by position.

  • Creed Humphrey – 1,301 snaps (1,273 at C, 26 at RG, 2 at LG)
  • Trey Smith – 1,295 snaps (all at RG)
  • Jawaan Taylor – 1,285 snaps (1259 at RT, 16 at LT, 10 inline)
  • Joe Thuney – 1,212 snaps (1,186 at LG, 25 at LT, 1 at C)
  • Donovan Smith – 958 snaps (957 at RT, 1 inline)
  • Wanya Morris – 340 snaps (all at LT)
  • Nick Allegretti – 174 snaps (93 at LG, 65 at C, 11 at RG, 5 inline)
  • Mike Caliendo – 64 snaps (57 at LG, 7 at RG)
  • Lucas Niang – 59 snaps (57 at RT, 2 inline)
  • Prince Tega Wanogho – 16 snaps (15 at RT, 1 at LT)

Notes and Analysis

  • The Chiefs had some remarkable continuity along their offensive line this season. Their starting five offensive linemen only missed six starts all season. Unfortunately, one of those missed games was by arguably their best lineman in LG Joe Thuney in the AFC Championship game. Thuney remains questionable for the Super Bowl and would be a major loss for the Chiefs’ O line against the 49ers’ stout defensive line.
  • The strength of the Chiefs’ offensive line is the interior, with first-team All-Pro Thuney, 2022 second-team All-Pro center Creed Humphrey, and RG Trey Smith. Both offensive tackles were new to the team this year and struggled at times, particularly with giving up penalties. RT Jawaan Taylor was the most penalized offensive player in the whole league with a whopping 24 penalties, while LT Donovan Smith was 12th among offensive tackles with 10. Smith also had the 3rd most among guards with 11.
  • As a unit, the Chiefs’ offensive line was 2nd in adjusted sack rate (an advanced pass protection metric) but just 19th in adjusted line yards (a run blocking metric). The Chiefs were 1st in ESPN’s pass block win rate and 20th in run block win rate.

Chiefs Wide Receiver Snaps

Here are the Chiefs’ season-long wide receiver snap counts. We have also included more detailed snap counts by alignment.

  • Rashee Rice – 16 games (8 starts), 785 snaps, 58.5%; 398 wide, 370 slot, 12 backfield, 5 inline
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 19 games, 741 snaps, 55.3%; 533 wide, 204 slot, 4 backfield
  • Justin Watson – 19 games, 649 snaps, 48.4%; 467 wide, 167 slot, 9 backfield, 5 inline
  • Skyy Moore – 14 games, 496 snaps, 37%; 310 wide, 165 slot, 15 backfield, 6 inline
  • Kadarius Toney – 13 games, 229 snaps, 17.1%; 104 wide, 104 slot, 18 backfield, 2 wildcat, 1 inline
  • Richie James – 12 games, 185 snaps, 13.8%; 88 slot, 82 wide, 13 backfield, 2 inline
  • Mecole Hardman Jr. – 9 games, 171 snaps, 12.8%; 110 slot, 80 wide, 6 backfield, 3 inline
  • Justyn Ross – 11 games, 139 snaps, 10.4%; 106 wide, 21 slot, 12 backfield

Notes and Analysis

  • Rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice really emerged over the second half of the season, adding a second reliable target for Mahomes in the passing game. This emergence is reflected in Rice’s snap trends. Over the first eight weeks of the season, he played over 51% of the snaps only twice. Since week 9, he has played at least 57% of the snaps every week, and at least 64% of snaps in all but one game (including playoffs).
  • The Chiefs’ wide receiving corps is thin after the emergent Rice, and it has been much maligned for most of the season for holding back the Chiefs’ offense from being even more explosive. Drops have been a major concern, as the Chiefs had more drops from wide receivers than any other team this season.
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson are both at their best making plays down the field. According to Pro Football Focus, Watson and Valdes-Scantling were targeted on deep passes (20+ air yards) on 38.6% and 37.5% of their total targets, respectively. Those figures are 7th and 8th most in the league among wide receivers. Their respective ADOTs (average depth of target) were 18.2 and 17.9 yards, which were 2nd and 3rd in the league (minimum 40 targets).

Chiefs Tight End Snaps

Here are the Chiefs’ season-long tight end snap counts, which first-team All-Pro Travis Kelce dominated. We have also included more detailed snap counts by alignment.

  • Travis Kelce – 18 games, 948 snaps, 70.1%; 383 slot, 346 inline, 200 wide, 18 backfield, 1 wildcat
  • Noah Gray – 20 games (11 starts), 708 snaps, 52.8%; 400 inline, 171 slot, 118 wide, 16 backfield
  • Blake Bell – 20 games (3 starts); 302 snaps, 22.5%; 251 inline, 30 slot, 13 wide, 7 backfield, 1 wildcat

Notes and Analysis

  • The Chiefs’ offense centers around Travis Kelce. No offensive skill player played more snaps for the Chiefs this season than Kelce, and that has also been true for each of the previous eight seasons.

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Noah hails from Philadelphia and is a diehard Philly sports fan. He graduated from Penn where he was a sports writer and editor for the student newspaper and also spent a summer covering the Baltimore Orioles for MLB.com. He has been playing fantasy sports since before live stats were a thing, and he has enjoyed learning the nuances of DFS in recent years. As a current resident of Florida, he is hoping the wave of sports betting legalization will eventually reach his home state.

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