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Bengals Week 7 snap counts: Defensive line rotation needs serious work

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Alex Erickson played a good chunk of the game on offense and Michael Johnson played even more on defense. What do the Bengals’ snap counts against the Chiefs tell us about this team?

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Fans are likely looking for answers after the Bengals’ 45-10 loss at the hands of the Chiefs. You may be wondering what changes can be made, and who should be getting more snaps. Hopefully we can find something in this week’s snap count takeaways to inspire some hope after a crushing defeat.

Here’s a look at the Bengals’ snap counts vs. the Chiefs from Sunday Night Football in Week 7:

  • John Ross was active for the first time in two weeks after dealing with a groin injury. He only ended up playing 30 snaps, and when the game got out of hand he was sidelined with another (maybe the same) groin injury.
  • Alex Erickson was rotated in fairly frequently playing 20 of the Bengals’ 59 offensive snaps. Tyler Boyd also came down to earth by only recording three catches for 27 yards, despite playing 58 snaps. He did catch three of his four targets.
  • There has still been no attempt to mix up the offensive line as Alex Redmond and Bobby Hart played every snap again. Cedric Ogbuehi was active for the first time this season, and Jake Fisher played two snaps in jumbo packages, but other than that it was the same five offensive linemen we’ve seen since Billy Price’s injury.
  • Jordan Evans has emerged as the team’s depth linebacker. He played 54 snaps Sunday night. He was out there in place of Nick Vigil and even Vontaze Burfict (44) after he left the game with a hip injury.
  • Vincent Rey didn’t play any defensive snaps and Hardy Nickerson Jr. only played 13 (though, that’s still too many). Preston Brown was the only linebacker to play more than Evans with 58 snaps.
  • Darqueze Dennard was out with a shoulder injury, and he was replaced by a combination of Tony McRae and Darius Phillips. McRae saw the most snaps with 28, but Phillips saw his share, too with 15. Dre Kirkpatrick played all 70 snaps while William Jackson took a break on eight, ending with a total of 62. It is clear the coaching staff is gaining some confidence in their rookie cornerback.
  • Michael Johnson (31) getting the third most snaps as an outside rusher must stop. He is a great guy, and a very valuable rotational player, but when he is getting more snaps than guys like Carl Lawson (25) and Jordan Willis (26), you have an issue. This becomes even more obvious when your team is struggling to find a pass rush. The Bengals allegedly impressive pass rush notched just two sacks on Patrick Mahomes.
  • Jeff Driskel saw his first action of the season. He played the final drive, which amounted to nine plays. This was the first time this season that Dalton didn’t play all of the offensive snaps. Obviously you don’t want to risk your quarterback to injury when you have zero chance of winning.

What are some changes you’d make to try and give the Bengals a spark after back-to-back losses.

Bengals Week 7 snap counts

# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
18 WR A.J. Green 48 81
83 WR Tyler Boyd 58 98
80 WR Josh Malone DNP DNP
15 WR John Ross 30 51
12 WR Alex Erickson 20 34
16 WR Cody Core 14 24
77 OT Cordy Glenn 59 100
74 OT Jake Fisher 2 3
68 OT Bobby Hart 59 100
70 OT Cedric Ogbuehi -- --
65 OG Clint Boling 59 100
63 OG Christian Westerman -- --
62 OG Alex Redmond 59 100
66 OG Trey Hopkins 59 100
53 C Billy Price DNP DNP
81 TE Tyler Kroft DNP DNP
87 TE C.J. Uzomah 57 97
86 TE Mason Schreck 2 3
89 TE Matt Lengel 5 8
14 QB Andy Dalton 50 85
6 QB Jeff Driskel 9 15
28 RB Joe Mixon 45 76
25 RB Giovani Bernard DNP DNP
32 RB Mark Walton 14 24
96 DE Caros Dunlap 55 79
94 DE Sam Hubbard 20 29
90 DE Michael Johnson 31 44
75 DE Jordan Willis 26 37
58 DE Carl Lawson 25 36
97 DT Geno Atkins 49 70
98 DT Adolphus Washington 29 41
99 DT Andrew Billings 45 64
91 DT Josh Tupou DNP DNP
59 LB Nick Vigil DNP DNP
57 LB Vincent Rey -- --
52 LB Preston Brown 58 83
56 LB Hardy Nickerson Jr. 13 19
50 LB Jordan Evans 54 77
45 LB Malik Jefferson -- --
55 LB Vontaze Burfict 44 63
27 CB Dre Kirkpatrick 70 100
21 CB Drarqueze Dennard DNP DNP
22 CB William Jackson 62 89
29 CB Tony McRae 28 40
23 CB Darius Phillips 15 21
20 CB KeiVarae Russell 6 9
36 S Shawn Williams 70 100
42 S Clayton Fejedelem -- --
30 S Jessie Bates III 70 100
40 S Brandon Wilson -- --