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NFL Week 5: Bengals’ snap count distribution vs Bills; injuries open up opportunities

Here are the snap count takeaways from the Bengals’ 20-16 victory over the Bills.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are on a winning streak heading into their bye week after defeating the Buffalo Bills 20-16. It was a battle of attrition though for the Bengals, metaphorically and literally. Several key Bengals went down during the game opening up an opportunity for Bengals’ to get off the bench and onto the field.

It was a huge win for the Bengals who are now 2-3 with the two teams ahead of them in the division sitting at 3-2. What once looked like a lost season now has some real promise. It may be a nice time for a bye week though considering all the injuries that are mounting up.

Snap count takeaways:

  • Trey Hopkins (43) returns on a limited basis. Hopkins played in his first game since getting injured Week 1, but the Bengals didn’t rush him out there. The Bengals still sprinkled T.J. Johnson (23) in at right guard.
  • The running back rotation seems to be set. Joe Mixon (35) and Giovani Bernard (22) are clearly the No. 1 and 2 backs with Jeremy Hill (11) being used sparingly. This is the second week in a row the Bengals have dispersed the snaps like this. During the Green Bay game, Bernard received very few snaps, but that seems to have just been due to the flow of the game.
  • Alex Erickson (31) gets plenty of run after Tyler Boyd (5) goes down. Boyd went down early with an ugly looking knee injury. Erickson was out there a ton, but he only received one target from Dalton that he caught for a 12 yard gain. If Boyd is out for awhile, Erickson may see these kinds of snaps more often. More likely John Ross will fill in for those snaps when he gets healthy.
  • Pat Sims (30) gets reintroduced to the fold. Probably because the Bills are such a run-dominant team, the Bengals didn’t feel as comfortable with Michael Johnson (49) at defensive tackle as often. The past two weeks Sims had a total of 19 snaps, so it is clear the Bengals went in with a different game plan for the Bills.
  • Kevin Minter (32) played a decent amount. The Bengals ran more of their base 4-3 defense than the nickel on Sunday, and it is obvious by the snap count distribution. Minter hadn't played over 20 snaps since Week 1 when he had 38. This is a huge step though because, before this, Vincent Rey (3) was seeing playing time over him. Unfortunately for Minter, most NFL teams don’t run a base two wide receiver, tight end, fullback and running back offense that often anymore. Vontaze Burfict (67) and Nick Vigil (70) are clearly ahead of him as well.
  • Jake Fisher (34) was low man on the tackles totem pole this week. Andre Smith (47) filled in more for Fisher due to Fisher’s injury going into the game. Still, Cedric Ogbuehi (51) played a majority of the snaps after being the low man last week only playing 31 snaps.
  • Injuries to Adam Jones (15) and Dre Kirkpatrick (5) lead to a youth movement. William Jackson (64) and Darqueze Dennard (62) played almost all of the game. Dennard even played the perimeter corner position when the Bengals were in their base personnel. Josh Shaw (33) also came in during nickel personnel, and with George Iloka (68) back there almost all of the game, we got a real glimpse into the future of the Bengals secondary on Sunday.

Bengals Week 5 Snap Counts

# Name Position Total Snaps Snap %
# Name Position Total Snaps Snap %
61 Bodine, Russell C 66 100
60 Johnson, T.J. C 23 35
20 Russell, KeiVarae CB DNP DNP
27 Kirkpatrick, Dre CB 6 9
24 Jones, Adam CB 15 21
21 Dennard, Darqueze CB 62 89
26 Shaw, Josh CB 33 47
22 Jackson, William CB 64 91
90 Johnson, Michael DE 49 70
96 Dunlap, Carlos DE 55 79
94 Smith, Chris DE 18 26
99 Willis, Jordan DE 22 31
97 Atkins, Geno DT 49 70
67 Glasgow, Ryan DT 21 30
92 Sims, Pat DT 30 43
75 Billings, Andrew DT 10 14
66 Hopkins, Trey G 43 65
63 Westerman, Christian G DNP DNP
62 Redmond, Alex G DNP DNP
65 Boling, Clint G 66 100
71 Smith, Andre G 47 71
89 Hewitt, Ryan H-B DNP DNP
82 Carter, Cethan H-B 16 24
28 Mixon, Joe HB 35 55
32 Hill, Jeremy HB 11 17
25 Bernard, Giovani HB 22 33
55 Burfict, Vontaze LB 67 96
59 Vigil, Nick LB 70 100
57 Rey, Vincent LB 3 4
58 Lawson, Carl LB 26 37
51 Minter, Kevin LB 32 46
56 Nickerson, Hardy LB DNP DNP
50 Evans, Jordan LB DNP DNP
70 Ogbuehi, Cedric OT 51 77
74 Fisher, Jake OT 34 52
# Name Position Total Snaps Snap
5 McCarron, AJ QB DNP DNP
14 Dalton, Andy QB 66 100
31 Smith, Derron S DNP DNP
36 Williams, Shawn S 48 69
43 Iloka, George S 68 97
42 Fejedelem, Clayton S 22 31
85 Eifert, Tyler TE DNP DNP
81 Kroft, Tyler TE 62 94
87 Uzomah, C.J. TE 17 26
80 Malone, Josh WR DNP DNP
15 Ross, John WR DNP DNP
18 Green, A.J. WR 57 86
11 LaFell, Brandon WR 61 92
83 Boyd, Tyler WR 5 8
12 Erickson, Alex WR 31 47
16 Core, Cody WR 12 18