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Bengals snap count takeaways vs. Dolphins: Vontaze Burfict shakes up linebacker rotation

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The Bengals did their best to get their three best linebackers on the field on Sunday, but was this just to ease Burfict back in or a plan going forward?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals pulled off a 27-17 win on Sunday against the Dolphins. The team put up 27 unanswered points in the second half — 24 coming in the fourth quarter alone — and 14 of those points came off defensive touchdowns by the defensive line.

In the midst of their fourth-quarter comeback, there were several things that the snap counts told us from this week. How did Vontaze Burfict’s return impact the linebackers’ snaps? Which tight end saw the most snaps now that Tyler Eifert is done for the season? How did the rotation of the defensive line look after the unit saw a dominant outing?

Here are the snap count takeaways:

  • The Bengals were barely out snapped by the Dolphins. Cincinnati saw 60 offensive snaps while Miami had 64. Neither team was good on third down as the Bengals only converted two of 11 and the Dolphins weren’t much better only converting four of 13. The things that skew the numbers were the Bengals two defensive touchdowns that obviously are great for the team, but it makes the total number of offensive plays sort of a nonissue this week.
  • Tyler Eifert was put on injured reserve, and he left some big shoes to fill. The team even had Mason Schreck activated and played 12 offensive snaps on the day. It was C.J. Uzomah, however, who saw 55 snaps, which was almost every offensive play for the Bengals. He had two catches, both of which went for first downs and 43 yards overall. It wasn’t the greatest stat line, but if anyone is expecting him to put up Eifert numbers, then they are dreaming. Tyler Kroft also got 24 snaps, so he he is established as the second tight end on the depth chart.
  • Vontaze Burfict made his season debut while playing 34 snaps. It seems like the team wanted to ease him in, but it could be that the Bengals are trying to find a way to get the most out of their linebacking trio. Nick Vigil, who has been playing almost every defensive snap when healthy the past two seasons, only played 46 snaps. That still led the unit, but Preston Brown also saw 42 snaps himself. In the modern NFL, it is hard to have three linebackers out there because offenses use so many three wide receiver sets, but the Bengals seem to be trying to make it work.
  • Also with Burfict’s return, Jordan Evans (11) and Hardy Nickerson Jr. (8) both saw their snaps drop dramatically. Malik Jefferson also was inactive for the second time this season, but he has yet to take any defensive snaps anyway.
  • The defensive line saw their first look including Adolphus Washington (17) at defensive tackle. The Bengals acquired him last week, and this was his first time actually being active. This actually impacted Sam Hubbard (28) the most actually. Last week he led all players not named Geno Atkins (41) and Carlos Dunlap (50) on the defensive line in snaps. Of course, Hubbard still left his signature on the game with his defensive touchdown to help seal the game. Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis each played 31 snaps as well, and Andrew Billings had 36. Billings was actually one of the main players pressuring Ryan Tannehill when he forced the pass that ended up in Michael Johnson’s (22) hands for a touchdown.
  • John Ross was out this week with a hamstring injury, and it seem Alex Erickson is the next up on the depth chart as he played 36 snaps. Josh Malone was next up with 10 snaps and Cody Core with eight. Erickson was the only one to do anything with his time as he caught three passes for 24 yards.

Bengals vs Dolphins snap counts

# NAME POS. Snaps Percentage of snaps
# NAME POS. Snaps Percentage of snaps
18 A.J. Green WR 51 85
83 Tyler Boyd WR 45 75
80 Josh Malone WR 10 17
15 John Ross WR DNP DNP
12 Alex Erickson WR 36 60
16 Cody Core WR 8 13
19 Auden Tate WR DNP DNP
77 Cordy Glenn OT 60 100
74 Jake Fisher OT -- --
68 Bobby Hart OT 60 100
70 Cedric Ogbuehi OT DNP
65 Clint Boling OG 60 100
63 Christian Westerman OG -- --
62 Alex Redmond OG 60 100
66 Trey Hopkins OG 60 100
53 Billy Price C DNP DNP
81 Tyler Kroft TE 24 40
87 C.J. Uzomah TE 55 92
86 Mason Schreck TE 12 20
14 Andy Dalton QB 60 100
6 Jeff Driskel QB -- --
28 Joe Mixon RB 47 78
25 Giovani Bernard RB DNP DNP
32 Mark Walton RB 12 20
31 Thomas Rawls RB -- --
96 Caros Dunlap DE 50 78
94 Sam Hubbard DE 28 44
90 Michael Johnson DE 22 34
75 Jordan Willis DE 31 48
58 Carl Lawson DE 31 48
97 Geno Atkins DT 41 64
98 Adolphus Washington DT 17 27
99 Andrew Billings DT 36 56
91 Josh Tupou DT DNP DNP
59 Nick Vigil LB 46 72
57 Vincent Rey LB -- --
52 Preston Brown LB 42 66
56 Hardy Nickerson Jr. LB 8 12
50 Jordan Evans LB 11 17
45 Malik Jefferson LB DNP DNP
55 Vontaze Burfict LB 34 53
27 Dre Kirkpatrick CB 63 98
21 Drarqueze Dennard CB 56 88
22 William Jackson CB 60 94
29 Tony McRae CB 5 8
23 Darius Phillips CB -- --
36 Shawn Williams S 63 98
42 Clayton Fejedelem S 2 3
30 Jessie Bates III S 58 91
40 Brandon Wilson S -- --