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Bengals vs. Seahawks snap count takeaways: Zac Taylor changes are hard to ignore

The Bengals had a plan on how to beat the Seahawks, and you can tell they followed that through snap counts. Will this become the norm?

Cincinnati Bengals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Our first snap count distribution of the new season is extra special as it is the first chance we get to look at how a Zac Taylor team runs. We have become accustomed to a team being run the Marvin Lewis way, but some changes are obvious to see even after just one game.

We also will have to see how these trends stick from week to week. These could have very well been following a game plan set in place to counter the Seahawks. You’ll just have to look out for next week’s installation as well to see how many of these trends hold up.

Snap count takeaways from Bengals vs. Seahawks

  • It has been tradition for a few seasons now to start off with how badly the Bengals were out snapped by the opposing team. In Taylor’s first game, he helped buck that trend pretty quickly. The Bengals had a total of 77 offensive plays while the Seahawks only had 53. Of course plenty of credit has to go to the Bengals new defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, who called a fantastic game. The Bengals offense was also able to move the ball consistently, which is something we didn’t see last year.
  • The distribution of snaps at receivers is probably the one that would surprise fans the most. Tyler Boyd (61) got the third most snaps at receiver. John Ross (63) didn’t even have the most. It was undrafted rookie Damion Willis (69) playing in A.J. Green’s spot who led all receivers. This helps support the idea that these receivers are playing certain roles in the offense. Boyd seems to be limited to being the team’s slot receiver while Ross and Willis were the team’s boundary receivers.
  • The tight ends also saw a healthy split. Tyler Eifert (38) was healthy, but C.J. Uzomah led the team with 54 snaps. Rookie Drew Sample only saw three snaps, but you can probably chalk that up to deciding to spread Seattle out as they refused to get out of their 4-3 personnel all game.
  • The defensive line didn’t see as much of a rotation as we were used to. Carlos Dunlap (49), Geno Atkins (44) and Sam Hubbard (43) each played over 80 percent of the defensive plays. There was a big rotation at nose tackle though, and the Bengals also went big a few times with five defensive linemen. Ryan Glasgow (22), Andrew Billings (20), Josh Tupou (10) and rookie Renell Wren (2) all saw action Sunday. Whether this was an answer to Seattle being determined to run the ball or what they will do consistently will remain to be seen.
  • The one thing to note for the linebackers was that Germaine Pratt did get to play much. He recorded a tackle, but he only saw that one three-and-out series. Preston Brown (41) and Nick Vigil (48) saw most of the time at linebacker. Safety Clayton Fejedelem (13) saw time in a third safety role as well, which should become a normal thing we see. In fact, we could see more of it against more pass happy teams.
  • The least surprising thing is Jessie Bates III (53) played every defensive snap. He was followed closely by Shawn Williams (52). As long as those two are healthy they will be playing the entire game.
  • The starting corners also saw plenty of time. Dre Kirkpatrick and William Jackson III both played 49 snaps. B.W. Webb (46) was the slot corner as most expected, but surprisingly the Bengals opted to play Tony McRae (7) over Darius Phillips who didn’t see a single defensive snap. That will be interesting to watch going forward.

Bengals snap count distribution against the Seahawks

# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
83 WR Tyler Boyd 61 79
15 WR Damion Willis 69 90
11 WR John Ross 63 82
12 WR Alex Erickson 11 14
16 WR Pharoh Cooper 8 10
19 WR Auden Tate DNP DNP
18 WR A.J. Green DNP DNP
77 OT Cordy Glenn DNP DNP
71 OT Andre Smith 77 100
68 OT Bobby Hart 77 100
67 OG John Miller 77 100
60 OG Michael Jordan 77 100
64 OG John Jerry -- --
66 C Trey Hopkins 77 100
53 C Billy Price -- --
87 TE C.J. Uzomah 54 70
89 TE Drew Sample 3 4
85 TE Tyler Eifert 38 49
82 TE Cethan Carter -- --
14 QB Andy Dalton 77 100
7 QB Jake Dolegala DNP DNP
5 QB Ryan Finley -- --
28 RB Joe Mixon 29 38
25 RB Giovani Bernard 48 62
34 RB Samaje Perine 1 1
32 RB Trayveon Williams DNP DNP
96 DE Caros Dunlap 49 92
94 DE Sam Hubbard 43 81
72 DE Kerry Wynn 9 17
75 DE Jordan Willis DNP DNP
93 DE Andrew Brown DNP DNP
58 DE Carl Lawson 23 43
97 DT Geno Atkins 44 83
99 DT Andrew Billings 20 38
91 DT Josh Tupou 10 19
95 DT Renell Wren 2 4
98 DT Ryan Glasgow 22 42
59 LB Nick Vigil 48 91
57 LB Germaine Pratt 3 6
52 LB Preston Brown 41 77
50 LB Jordan Evans -- --
27 CB Dre Kirkpatrick 49 92
22 CB William Jackson 49 92
29 CB Tony McRae 7 13
24 CB Darius Phillips -- --
23 CB B.W. Webb 46 87
36 S Shawn Williams 52 98
42 S Clayton Fejedelem 13 25
30 S Jessie Bates III 53 100
40 S Brandon Wilson -- --

What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s snap counts?