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NFL Week 6 Bengals at Patriots: Cincinnati's snap counts continue to raise eyebrows

We take a look at the Bengals’ snap counts from Sunday in New England, and there are some questions you’re likely going to ask yourself. Why did guys like Rey Maualuga and Darqueze Dennard play so little?

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals offensive and defensive snap counts in New England once again offered some surprises, most of which being due to notable veterans getting very limited playing time. Part of that had to do with the Bengals again playing from behind and attempting to get into scoring positions, but, there are some questions that linger after looking over the numbers.

  • C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft had a 70-30 split of tight end reps, though some formations had both guys in the lineup. Even with Kroft having a great offseason while drawing lots of praise as a replacement for the injured Tyler Eifert, Uzomah has done enough to hold him off for the starting gig and get the majority of snaps.
  • With Jeremy Hill battling a chest injury and because the Bengals spent a lot of the second half playing from behind, Giovani Bernard once again ended up getting more snaps and finished with 24 more snaps than Jeremy Hill. It seems Hill's injury is a matter of pain tolerance at this point.
  • Vontaze Burfict is back to getting a full workload. He played a season-high 61 snaps on Sunday, which was 95-percent of the defensive snaps.
  • After playing 46 snaps last week, Rey Maualuga played in eight snaps this week and didn't enter the game until the second half. Even with Maualuga playing so few snaps, Vincent Rey managed to play just 29 defensive snaps (45%), while Karlos Dansby was in for 59-percent of the time.
  • Tyler Boyd got a full workload in with 55 snaps as Cincinnati was frequently in three and four-receiver sets, even when the game was still within reach. The idea was to spread out New England's defense, and that helped Boyd stay on the field and chip in four catches for 79 yards on five targets. In fact, the Bengals got into New England territory on every drive in which Boyd caught a pass.
  • The Bengals finally saw enough from embattled right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, who was benched in the third quarter after a bad holding call on him backed Cincinnati up to their own goal line before Andy Dalton sacked for a safety. Eric Winston ended up replacing Ogbuehi and played 21 snaps.
  • Fellow backup tackle Jake Fisher was in for just two snaps during jumbo packages. It looks like Fisher will not be starting at right tackle if the Bengals make a move there.
  • Darqueze Dennard has been effectively benched in favor of Josh Shaw as the starting slot cornerback. Dennard played in just five snaps compared to Shaw's 55. It's safe to say Dennard is not getting it done in the slot, but he did do well in his one start as a boundary corner this season, so maybe the Bengals should give him more of Dre Kirkpatrick's snaps. Kirkpatrick struggled with the 60 snaps he saw on Sunday.
  • Margus Hunt continues to get more snaps than Will Clarke as the third defensive end, though part of that has to do with Hunt being able to line up at defensive tackle occasionally.
  • Pat Sims and Domata Peko are getting close to a 50-50 split at defensive tackle, and it's clear why. Sims has been far more effective with his snaps this season, and he even sacked Tom Brady on Sunday. Peko continues to do close to nothing as a run-stuffing tackle who isn't helping much to stop the run.
  • James Wright and Alex Erickson combined for just eight snaps and one catch for one yard. Those two doing nothing as the fourth/fifth receivers is part of why this offense continues to stagnate. Maybe it's time for Cody Core to get more playing time.
  • Ryan Hewitt continues to be rarely used as a fullback and extra tight end after getting just six snaps last week. His role on this team appears to be at an all-time low, despite the Bengals giving him an extension this offseason.
Position Player Snap Count Percentage of Time
Offensive Line Kevin Zeitler 68 100
68 100
56 82
Cedric Ogbuehi 47 69
Andrew Whitworth 66 97
T.J. Johnson 12 18
2 3
Eric Winston 21 31
Christian Westerman INACTIVE INACTIVE
Tight Ends Tyler Eifert INACTIVE INACTIVE
C.J. Uzomah 48 71
Tyler Kroft 26 38
Quarterback Andy Dalton 66 97
AJ McCarron 2 3
Wide Receiver A.J. Green 61 90
Tyler Boyd 55 81
Brandon LaFell 62 91
James Wright 4 6
Alex Erickson 4 6
Running Back Jeremy Hill 21 31
Giovani Bernard 45 66
3 4
Fullback/H-Back Ryan Hewitt 9 13
----------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------- ----------------------------
Defensive Tackle Geno Atkins 49 77
Domata Peko 39 61
Pat Sims 31 48
Defensive End Margus Hunt 23 36
Will Clarke 16 25
50 78
48 75
Linebacker Karlos Dansby 38 59
Rey Maualuga 9 14
Vincent Rey 29 45
Nick Vigil 4 6
Vontaze Burfict 61 95
0 0
Safety George Iloka 44 69
Shawn Williams 64 100
Derron Smith 19 30
0 0
Cornerback Adam Jones 60 94
Dre Kirkpatrick 60 94
Josh Shaw 55 86
Chris Lewis-Harris 0 0
Darqueze Dennard 5 8