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Bengals snap count takeaways: Old and new faces emerge vs. Browns

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The Bengals made some adjustments in getting younger players on-the-field, but there is still more that can be done shake things up.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

When looking back on the Bengals 35-20 loss at home against the Browns, what must always be remembered is how the game was far worse than what the final score ended up being. Injuries, coaching or even a lack of effort can be your source of blame, and the truth is likely a mix of all of those things. We’ll touch on each of them in this week’s Bengals snap count takeaways:

  • This was one of the first games in a long time where the Bengals actually out-snapped their opponent. Cincinnati ran 74 plays compared to 64 for Cleveland. Why didn’t the Bengals win? Well, Cleveland capitalized on big plays and punched the ball into the end zone almost every time they crossed midfield in the first half. On the other side, Cincinnati often shot themselves in the foot in the first half when they had any sort of sustained drive. Cleveland also seemed to take their foot off the gas in the second half, which led to more irrelevant success for Cincinnati.
  • The Bengals still won’t play linebacker Malik Jefferson. At this point, the Bengals’ linebacker situation really can’t get any worse anyway. They already have Vontaze Burfict out there playing 62 snaps even though he is far from effective right now. Hardy Nickerson played two snaps Sunday, effectively getting benched after playing 100 percent of snaps last week. Vincent Rey played 39 snaps, which is pretty much asking teams to take advantage of the linebackers in coverage. Jefferson can’t be the linebacker calling the defense, but why can’t he get some of the snaps going to Rey and Nickerson? At least Lewis finally swallowed his pride and benched Nickerson.
  • On offense, Cody Core (31) is still playing a good chunk of snaps. At least this time we saw Auden Tate’s snaps (32) increase to a similar level to Core’s. However, it has become obvious that Core has pretty much no reason to be on this roster. On Sunday, Tate caught two passes for 15 yards, and only about four of his seven targets were catchable even with his own freakish catch radius. Meanwhile, Core caught one of his two targets, the one he didn’t catch was intercepted as he didn’t even look like he expecting the pass. Core also was flagged on special teams on a play that would’ve wiped out a big Alex Erickson return had another flag not been thrown to save him.
  • With Dre Kirkpatrick out, William Jackson (63) and Darqueze Dennard (61) played nearly the entire game. The interesting note though is rookie cornerback Darius Phillips (23) looks like he has cemented himself has the fourth cornerback on this team. He didn’t really make any outstanding plays, but he wasn’t at the center of conversation when the Bengals were on defense, which is a pretty good sign for corners.
  • Jake Fisher (20) was making his first start of the season for the injured Cordy Glenn. Unfortunately a back injury cut his time short, and we all were reminded at least one more time about just how bad Cedric Ogbuehi (54) is. The Bengals added Glenn and Bobby Hart in the offseason, but considering how bad their offensive line was last year, it is really frustrating that they didn’t try to do more and that Fisher and Ogbuehi are their backups at offensive tackle. That’s especially true considering just how badly Ogbuehi looked. He’s lucky the refs let him get a little grab-happy with Myles Garrett.
  • Jessie Bates played every defensive snap, which at this point has become the norm. If you’re looking for a bright spot from Sunday’s game defensively it is that Bates never quit, and he looked impressive throughout the game. He is a great addition to this secondary.
  • The Bengals are so thin at defensive tackle that offensive lineman Christian Westerman played a snap on the goal line along the defensive interior. That play turned into a Browns touchdown, because of course it did. Is Marvin Lewis trolling us at this point by putting Westerman in the game like that on defense when he can’t get a chance on offense? These are the important questions.
  • Jeff Driskel saw extended playing time as Andy Dalton went down early with a thumb injury. Driskel ended up playing 44 snaps and leading two touchdown drives. He gave fans a tiny glimmer of hope in the second half, but the deficit was just too much to overcome.

Bengals Snap Counts vs Browns

# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
18 WR A.J. Green DNP DNP
83 WR Tyler Boyd 72 97
80 WR Josh Malone DNP DNP
15 WR John Ross 68 92
12 WR Alex Erickson 7 9
16 WR Cody Core 31 42
19 WR Auden Tate 32 43
77 OT Cordy Glenn DNP DNP
74 OT Jake Fisher 20 27
68 OT Bobby Hart 74 100
70 OT Cedric Ogbuehi 54 73
79 OT Christian Ringo DNP DNP
65 OG Clint Boling 74 100
63 OG Christian Westerman 1 (defensive) 1
62 OG Alex Redmond 74 100
66 OG Trey Hopkins -- --
53 C Billy Price 74 100
87 TE C.J. Uzomah 74 100
88 TE Jordan Franks -- --
89 TE Matt Lengel 10 14
14 QB Andy Dalton 30 41
6 QB Jeff Driskel 44 59
28 RB Joe Mixon 53 72
25 RB Giovani Bernard 23 31
32 RB Mark Walton -- --
96 DE Caros Dunlap 53 83
94 DE Sam Hubbard 26 41
90 DE Michael Johnson 36 56
75 DE Jordan Willis 29 45
95 DE Kasim Edebali DNP DNP
97 DT Geno Atkins 52 81
99 DT Andrew Billings 51 80
69 DT Niles Scott 8 12
59 LB Nick Vigil DNP DNP
57 LB Vincent Rey 39 61
56 LB Hardy Nickerson Jr. 2 3
50 LB Jordan Evans 61 95
45 LB Malik Jefferson -- --
55 LB Vontaze Burfict 62 97
51 LB Brandon Bell -- --
27 CB Dre Kirkpatrick DNP DNP
21 CB Drarqueze Dennard 61 95
22 CB William Jackson 63 98
29 CB Tony McRae -- --
23 CB Darius Phillips 23 36
20 CB KeiVarae Russell 4 6
36 S Shawn Williams 63 98
42 S Clayton Fejedelem 1 2
30 S Jessie Bates III 64 100
40 S Brandon Wilson 5 8