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Bengals at Raiders snap counts: Running backs finally receive balanced playing time

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The Bengals actually played Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard at the same time.

Cincinnati Bengals v Oakland Raiders Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Bengals had a close game, which was a nice change of pace after getting demolished last week. There were actually points where this game was even watchable, and it resembled an actual NFL game.

There are still some weird things we need to discuss in regards to snap count distribution, but we also saw some pretty nice changes that we have to hope continue the rest of the season.

Snap count takeaways for the Bengals’ loss to the Raiders:

  • The Bengals ran 63 offensive plays to the Raiders 70. It was fairly close, and a huge reason for that was the defense actually creating stops and not giving up four play drives for touchdowns. What also kept it close was the Bengals winning the turnover battle until Cincinnati’s final drive where Ryan Finley threw an interception. The Bengals also only converted three of their 13 third downs, so they let the defense down in that regard.
  • We can start with some good this week! There were several occasions where Joe Mixon (37) and Giovani Bernard (33) were on the field at the same time. The even ran a few misdirection plays to Bernard off plays they had established with Mixon earlier in the game. It is weird they haven’t also worked Trayveon Williams onto the field considering how high they were on him before the season, but that seems like the natural progression considering the running game is finally popping with some creativity. Including Williams allows them to run more plays like this without worrying about working Mixon and Bernard too much.
  • Okay, time to get into some weird. The rotation at linebacker is still odd post-Preston Brown, whom the team parted ways with after last week’s game. Nick Vigil (62) didn’t get his usual 90 percent of snaps, and Germaine Pratt (48) played over half the game, but it is easy to say that most expected him to play a bigger role. Instead, the newly activated Hardy Nickerson (10) and Jordan Evans (13) snuck in with some playing time as well. There is nothing against keeping guys fresh, and we shouldn’t pretend that Pratt hasn’t had some bad plays. However, it seems like they should be treating him like they are Finley. They need to find out specifically where he stands in this linebacker group heading into an offseason where they need to make major changes to that group.
  • Drew Sample didn’t play this week, and he may not play the rest of the way. You’d think that would mean Tyler Eifert would receive more snaps right? Wrong. Eifert played 23 snaps and C.J. Uzomah had 38. Uzomah also had several plays where he and Finley had trouble connecting. The argument isn’t why Uzomah is getting so many snaps, though. He has proved he can be a pretty nice playmaker when given the chance. It is more why are they still preserving Eifert on an 0-10 team? People question why they didn’t trade Cordy Glenn (who was inactive yet again), but why keep Eifert if you’re only going to play him a handful of plays?
  • We also saw a shift in the secondary. Previously, B.W. Webb (41) had been playing a large role out of necessity. Now with William Jackson III (66) and Darqueze Dennard (65) both healthy, Webb has finally settled in for more of what he was meant to be as a third corner type player who covers the slot. We also saw a little bit of Brandon Wilson (11) as the third safety.
  • The defensive line rotation was pretty noticeable at the beginning of the game, as several different guys were making big plays. Sam Hubbard (63), Carlos Dunlap (61), Geno Atkins (58) and Andrew Billings (52) led the way in snaps. Josh Tupou (39) was the first guy off the bench, and he had several big plays highlighted by the forced fumble in the first quarter to keep the Raiders from putting points on the board early. Carl Lawson (26) saw a decent chunk of playing time, and we even saw a vintage play where he absolutely ran by the Raiders left tackle for an easy looking sack. Hopefully he gets worked into the rotation more and more as he gets healthier. Rookie Renell Wren (15) got worked into the rotation more as well, and Andrew Brown (3) also got on the field.
  • Offensive lineman Fred Johnson was activated this week. He didn’t play an offensive snap, but they may want to consider playing him at left tackle (since there is still obviously something weird going on with Glenn and this team). John Jerry got worked this week, and they need to find out if re-signing Johnson should be a priority this offseason. They could even play him at guard at this point. This is more just leaving no stone left unturned on a very lost season.

Bengals snap counts against Raiders

# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
83 WR Tyler Boyd 61 97
17 WR Stanley Morgan 11 17
12 WR Alex Erickson 47 75
19 WR Auden Tate 48 76
18 WR A.J. Green DNP DNP
15 WR Damion Willis 6 10
77 OT Cordy Glenn DNP DNP
71 OT Andre Smith -- --
68 OT Bobby Hart 63 100
74 OT Fred Johnson -- --
67 OG John Miller 63 100
60 OG Michael Jordan 1 2
64 OG John Jerry 63 100
62 OG Alex Redmond DNP DNP
66 C Trey Hopkins 63 100
53 C Billy Price 63 100
87 TE C.J. Uzomah 38 60
89 TE Drew Sample DNP DNP
85 TE Tyler Eifert 23 37
82 TE Cethan Carter 10 16
14 QB Andy Dalton -- --
7 QB Jake Dolegala DNP DNP
5 QB Ryan Finley 63 100
28 RB Joe Mixon 37 59
25 RB Giovani Bernard 33 52
32 RB Trayveon Williams -- --
96 DE Caros Dunlap 61 87
94 DE Sam Hubbard 63 90
93 DE Andrew Brown 3 4
58 DE Carl Lawson 26 37
97 DE Anthony Zettel DNP DNP
97 DT Geno Atkins 58 83
99 DT Andrew Billings 52 74
91 DT Josh Tupou 39 56
95 DT Renell Wren 15 21
59 LB Nick Vigil 62 89
57 LB Germaine Pratt 48 69
56 LB Hardy Nickerson Jr. 10 14
50 LB Jordan Evans 13 19
55 LB LaRoy Reynolds -- --
22 CB William Jackson 66 94
21 CB Darqueze Dennard 65 93
29 CB Tony McRae -- --
20 CB Torry McTyer DNP DNP
23 CB B.W. Webb 41 59
26 CB Greg Mabin -- --
36 S Shawn Williams 70 100
42 S Clayton Fejedelem -- --
30 S Jessie Bates III 67 96
40 S Brandon Wilson 26 55