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NFL Week 2: Bengals’ snap count distribution vs Texans favors veterans over youth

The Bengals’ offense is still trying to figure out what configuration works best, but the defense is starting to take shape. Meanwhile, the veterans continue to play far more than the youngsters who’ve earned more playing time.

Houston Texans v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals dropped to 0-2 on the season after a rough 13-9 loss to the Houston Texans.

The Bengals’ offense looked absolutely lost throughout most of the game. The offensive line continued to support an ineffective running game, while quarterback Andy Dalton continued to be plagued by constant pressure.

Although they did not turn the ball over as much as Week 1, they once again failed to put together any semblance of an effective offense, failing to find the end zone for the second week in a row. The defense looked solid enough, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the futility of the offense.

The Bengals’ 2017 season is not off to a good start. But, there have still been some interesting developments as it relates to players receiving snaps.

Snap count takeaways:

  • Joe Mixon received few snaps on Thursday (16) compared to Giovani Bernard (33). It was only one more snap than Jeremy Hill received (15), but he still shined through as the Bengals’ best running back on the day (nine carries for 36 yards).
  • Alex Erickson is starting to receive a fair amount of playing time outside of special teams. However, he only received two targets in the passing game, despite being on the field for over half of the offensive snaps.
  • T.J. Johnson is continuing to see a lot of playing time in the absence of starting right guard Trey Hopkins. With Alex Redmond and Andre Smith continuing to not play, Johnson is receiving 100 percent of the offensive snaps. The Bengals’ two-year contract extension on the fifth-year lineman seems to be paying off.
  • Andrew Billings appears to be the Bengals’ last choice at defensive tackle. Despite the hype surrounding a player who was once considered a potential first-round pick in 2016, he seems to be off the starting track. He lost his rookie season to a torn meniscus, but many thought he had a chance to take over Domata Peko’s vacated starting role in 2017. Instead, Pat Sims has been receiving the most snaps next to Geno Atkins, while Ryan Glasgow has also been receiving significantly more.
  • There seems to be no stopping the unexpected rise of defensive end Chris Smith. For the second week in a row, the player whom the Bengals paid a conditional seventh-round pick was on the field for around half of the defensive snaps. In the process, he recorded six tackles and a sack.
  • Despite seeing some time on special teams, William Jackson III did not play any snaps on defense, despite playing 44 percent last week. This is likely due to the return of Adam Jones and the continued solid play of Darqueze Dennard. But, the complete lack of snaps for a former first round draft pick is still notable.
  • In addition to Jackson, Hardy Nickerson Jr, Jordan Evans, Clayton Fejedelem, and Cethan Carter all saw playing time on special teams, despite not seeing any snaps on offense or defense.
  • John Ross, the ninth-overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, played a whopping five snaps. The Bengals drafted him to help upgrade an offense that badly needed it, but they’re not giving him enough chances to do so.
  • If you haven’t noticed already, the Bengals are relying heavily on veteran players over youngsters that deserve more playing time. There’s no excuse for Jackson, Ross and Cody Core (7 snaps) to play that little. Mixon also needs more touches, and with the o-line being so bad, guys like Redmond and Christian Westerman deserve some snaps as well. Hopefully, we see the young guys play more against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3.


# Name Position Total Snaps Snap %
# Name Position Total Snaps Snap %
60 Johnson, T.J. C 64 100%
61 Bodine, Russell C 64 100%
24 Jones, Adam CB 61 92%
20 Russell, KeiVarae CB DNP DNP
26 Shaw, Josh CB 5 8%
21 Dennard, Darqueze CB 48 73%
22 Jackson, William CB 0 0%
27 Kirkpatrick, Dre CB 66 100%
90 Johnson, Michael DE DNP DNP
96 Dunlap, Carlos DE 53 80%
94 Smith, Chris DE 34 52%
99 Willis, Jordan DE 45 68%
97 Atkins, Geno DT 50 76%
75 Billings, Andrew DT 11 17%
92 Sims, Pat DT 32 48%
67 Glasgow, Ryan DT 22 33%
65 Boling, Clint G 64 100%
66 Hopkins, Trey G DNP DNP
63 Westerman, Christian G DNP DNP
71 Smith, Andre G 0 0%
62 Redmond, Alex G DNP DNP
89 Hewitt, Ryan H-B 9 14%
82 Carter, Cethan H-B 0 0%
32 Hill, Jeremy HB 15 23%
28 Mixon, Joe HB 16 25%
25 Bernard, Giovani HB 33 52%
30 Peerman, Cedric HB DNP DNP
55 Burfict, Vontaze LB DNP DNP
51 Minter, Kevin LB 19 29%
57 Rey, Vincent LB 66 100%
59 Vigil, Nick LB 66 100%
58 Lawson, Carl LB 17 26%
56 Nickerson, Hardy LB 0 0%
50 Evans, Jordan LB 0 0%
74 Fisher, Jake OT 64 100%
70 Ogbuehi, Cedric OT 64 100%
14 Dalton, Andy QB 64 100%
5 McCarron, AJ QB DNP DNP
36 Williams, Shawn S 64 97%
31 Smith, Derron S 1 2%
42 Fejedelem, Clayton S 0 0%
43 Iloka, George S 66 100%
85 Eifert, Tyler TE 50 78%
81 Kroft, Tyler TE 29 45%
87 Uzomah, C.J. TE DNP DNP
16 Core, Cody WR 7 11%
18 Green, A.J. WR 62 97%
11 LaFell, Brandon WR 57 89%
83 Boyd, Tyler WR DNP DNP
80 Malone, Josh WR DNP DNP
12 Erickson, Alex WR 37 58%
15 Ross, John WR 5 8%