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Bengals’ snap counts: Takeaways from Thursday night’s loss to Browns

There seems to be a change of guard at wide receiver.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals dug themselves into too deep of a hole to get out of on Thursday Night Football against the Browns. This week has not only revealed true weaknesses on the team, but their initial plans to mitigate them. Whether some of these plans change with a long week to prepare after an 0-2 start remains to be seen. Right now though, this is what we can takeaway from Week 2.

Here are the Bengals snap count takeaways for Week 2:

  • This is a prime reason why time of possession and amount of offensive plays really can get thrown out the window as determinations of who wins a game. The Bengals ran 92 plays to the Browns 58. So why did it feel like Cincinnati could never catch up? They had to settle for field goals rather than converting red zone opportunities into touchdowns. It also helps that the Bengals were five of five on fourth down conversions to extend drives.
  • Joe Mixon only played 46 snaps. Giovani Bernard wasn’t far behind with 42. As of now, that contract looks more and more like a mistake. Mixon is the kind of back who should be motioned all over the formation getting easy mismatches. There was a point in the game where he and Joe Burrow got into sync taking advantage of the linebackers, but then we never saw it again. He just needs to be on the field more and in different situations to compliment his do-it-all style. That isn’t to say Bernard should be getting less snaps, but these two can share the field. Someone remind the Bengals that.
  • Probably the most impressive thing to come out is that D.J. Reader played 56 of the 58 defensive snaps. That is just a ridiculous amount for a defensive tackle. Even with Geno Atkins and Mike Daniels out, you would expect more of a rotation at that position to keep him fresh. Also Christian Covington (34) was the next highest played interior defender. That gives you a pretty good idea as to where this team stands with him.
  • There were never any adjustments made along the offensive line. This was obvious to people watching, but it feels like an important note that Bobby Hart and Fred Johnson both struggled throughout the night, but there was never an attempt to remedy that. Hakeem Adeneji did get to play one snap as an extra tight end, though.
  • Carlos Dunlap (30) got the short end of the defensive end snaps. Carl Lawson (33) and Sam Hubbard (43) both out snapped him. This really doesn’t mean much as no one from this group was really able to get anything going this week against the Browns. Baker Mayfield was only pressed three times on the night.
  • Auden Tate was a healthy scratch at receiver. Rookie Tee Higgins (60) also saw way more playing time. Mike Thomas (32) also saw some increased playing time and even caught a touchdown on the night. John Ross saw his snaps drop to just 28, which isn’t a good indication of how this season is going for him in the coaches eyes. The split between these wide receivers going forward will be interesting to watch. Given all the hype for Thomas during training camp and his obvious chemistry with Burrow, we should expect to see more of him going forward.

Bengals’ snaps against the Browns

# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
83 WR Tyler Boyd 78 85
80 WR Mike Thomas 32 35
12 WR Alex Erickson 8 9
18 WR A.J. Green 57 62
85 WR Tee Higgins 60 65
19 WR Auden Tate DNP DNP
11 WR John Ross 28 30
73 OT Jonah Williams 92 100
68 OT Bobby Hart 92 100
74 OT Fred Johnson 92 100
71 OG Shaq Callhoun DNP DNP
60 OG Michael Jordan 92 100
77 OG Hakeem Adeniji 1 1
66 C Trey Hopkins 92 100
53 C Billy Price -- --
87 TE C.J. Uzomah 47 51
89 TE Drew Sample 54 59
82 TE Cethan Carter 7 8
9 QB Joe Burrow 92 100
5 QB Ryan Finley -- --
34 RB Samaje Perine -- --
28 RB Joe Mixon 46 50
25 RB Giovani Bernard 42 46
32 RB Trayveon Williams DNP DNP
96 DE Caros Dunlap 30 52
94 DE Sam Hubbard 43 74
91 DE Amani Bledsoe 24 41
90 DE Khalid Kareem 14 24
93 DT Andrew Brown 11 19
DE Freedom Akinmoladun 16 28
58 DE Carl Lawson 33 57
97 DT Geno Atkins DNP DNP
98 DT D.J. Reader 56 97
76 DT Mike Daniels DNP DNP
99 DT Christian Covington 34 59
55 LB Logan Wilson 14 24
57 LB Germaine Pratt 43 74
56 LB Josh Bynes 50 86
50 LB Jordan Evans -- --
51 LB Markus Bailey DNP DNP
59 LB Akeem Davis-Gaither 19 33
21 CB Mackensie Alexnder 26 45
38 CB LeShaen Sims -- --
22 CB William Jackson 54 93
27 CB Tony Brown -- --
23 CB Darius Phillips 52 90
36 S Shawn Williams DNP DNP
24 S Vonn Bell 58 100
30 S Jessie Bates III 54 93
41 S Trayvon Henderson -- --
40 S Brandon Wilson 6 10