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Bengals’ snap count distribution vs Bears: Bench gets plenty of run

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With all the injuries the Bengals had coming into the game, the Bengals defense was forced to play a lot of players who don’t normally get extensive snaps.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It was no secret the Cincinnati Bengals were shorthanded coming into their Week 14 matchup with the Chicago Bears.

Several regular starters like Vontaze Burfict, Joe Mixon, Shawn Williams, Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones were out for this game. This put a new meaning to the phrase “next man up.”

While injuries do happen, it is hard for a team to go out there and essentially replace more than half of their defense, and we saw just how hard that could be on Sunday.

Snap count takeaways:

  • Giovani Bernard (46) was the Bengals offense on Sunday. The running back touched the ball 19 times, and he gained 130 total yards of offense. Bernard was filling in for Mixon, and this was the first time he has been in the feature back role since the beginning of the 2014 season. Bernard has always been talented, but the team seems more comfortable with him in the change of pace roll. We should see plenty more of Bernard as the season goes on.
  • AJ McCarron (9) actually played. He didn’t enter the game until it was well out of hand, and he only played a handful of snaps. He finished four of eight for 47 yards. Nothing to write home about. Andy Dalton (45) had a rough day at the office. He only had 141 yards passing while completing just under 50 percent of his passes. He also saw his streak of games without an interception end. There isn’t a lot to make out of benching Dalton. It seemed more like a move to protect the quarterback against unnecessary hits.
  • Jordan Evans (68) and Vincent Rey (70) handled most of the linebacker duties due to injuries. Kevin Minter (34) also helped. None of these guys really played that well. The highlights are littered with them failing to get to the ball carrier or biting hard on play action fakes. It was a very forgettable game for this unit, which is disappointing considering it was an opportunity to shine for all three of these guys. Especially Minter who is a free agent after this season.
  • The Bengals were dominated by the Bears in snaps played. The Bengals ran a total of 54 offensive plays, and the Bears ran 76. The Bears held onto the ball for 38 minutes because of this. It seemed like the Bengals had fixed this the past two weeks, but they reverted back to the same issues that have plagued them for most of this season. The Bengals failed to convert third downs while the Bears converted them regularly.
  • Geno Atkins (12) injury seemed serious enough to hold him out for most of this game. Apparently the team wanted to play him in pass rush situations, but those really never came up in this game. Meanwhile, Ryan Glasgow (40) and Andrew Billings (47) anchored the middle of the defense for most of the game, which isn’t really something to be proud of when the opposing team runs for over 200 yards. With the season over, the team could look to rest Atkins and allow him to heal from his injury and get playing time for these young guys.
  • George Iloka, fresh off having his suspension erased, played all 76 snaps. He was really what held the Bengals secondary together. William Jackson (73) and Darqueze Dennard (69) were really the only other regular Bengals back there. Clayton Fejedelem (57) and Josh Shaw (50) filled out the rest of the secondary. Players like Tony McRae (5) and Keivarae Russell (18) also got playing time with all the injuries in the secondary.
  • Between Tyler Boyd (30) and Josh Malone (26) the two receivers combined for one catch for 15 yards. Alex Erickson (3) had one catch for nine yards. It may be time the Bengals actually try injecting Erickson into the offense. They literally only have a catch for 15 yards to lose.

Bengals’ snap counts vs Bears

# Name Position Total Snaps Snap %
# Name Position Total Snaps Snap %
61 Bodine, Russell C 54 100
60 Johnson, T.J. C -- --
20 Russell, KeiVarae CB 18 24
27 Kirkpatrick, Dre CB DNP DNP
29 McRae, Tony CB 5 7
21 Dennard, Darqueze CB 69 91
26 Shaw, Josh CB 50 66
22 Jackson, William CB 73 96
90 Johnson, Michael DE 56 74
96 Dunlap, Carlos DE 44 58
94 Smith, Chris DE 25 33
99 Willis, Jordan DE 33 43
97 Atkins, Geno DT 12 16
67 Glasgow, Ryan DT 40 53
75 Billings, Andrew DT 47 62
92 Sims, Pat DT 30 39
66 Hopkins, Trey G 54 100
63 Westerman, Christian G DNP DNP
62 Redmond, Alex G DNP DNP
65 Boling, Clint G 54 100
71 Smith, Andre OT 54 100
89 Hewitt, Ryan H-B 4 7
82 Carter, Cethan H-B -- --
28 Mixon, Joe HB DNP DNP
25 Bernard, Giovani HB 46 85
23 Hill, Brian HB 7 13
55 Burfict, Vontaze LB DNP DNP
59 Vigil, Nick LB DNP DNP
57 Rey, Vincent LB 70 92
58 Lawson, Carl LB 19 25
51 Minter, Kevin LB 34 45
56 Nickerson, Hardy LB 5 7
50 Evans, Jordan LB 68 89
73 Winston, Eric OT -- --
70 Ogbuehi, Cedric OT 54 100
5 McCarron, AJ QB 9 17
14 Dalton, Andy QB 45 83
36 Williams, Shawn S DNP DNP
43 Iloka, George S 76 100
42 Fejedelem, Clayton S 57 75
40 Wilson, Brandon S -- --
81 Kroft, Tyler TE 45 83
87 Uzomah, C.J. TE 14 26
80 Malone, Josh WR 26 48
18 Green, A.J. WR 43 80
11 LaFell, Brandon WR 52 96
83 Boyd, Tyler WR 30 56
12 Erickson, Alex WR 3 6
16 Core, Cody WR -- --