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Bengals snap count takeaways from big win over Raiders

The Bengals controlled the time of possession and amount of plays run Sunday, which kept their defense fresh.

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals took a little while to really wake up after their bye week, but they eventually pulled away from the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

This week the snap counts tell a pretty clear story as to why this team was successful. The question becomes how repeatable this formula for a win really is.

Bengals wore down Raiders

The Bengals ran 74 plays compared to the Raiders 47. That is a staggering difference. How did that happen? Pretty simply, Cincinnati converted eight of their 16 third downs while Las Vegas only converted one of their seven.

The Bengals defense looked more like the one we saw to start the season as it forced its way off the field with great tackling. They started early by limiting Las Vegas to only a field goal after a strip sack gave the Raiders a goal-to-go situation. Outside of one drive where Las Vegas went down the field in three plays, they really did a great job of limiting yards after the catch and yards after first contact in the running game.

We saw how a worn down Raiders defense didn’t want anything to do with shedding blocks in the running game during the second half when Joe Mixon really did most of his damage.

Pratt takes strangle hold of rotation

If you just look at the final snap counts you probably would think that the Bengals rotated Germaine Pratt (32) and Ricardo Allen (14) a fair bit. However, Allen received most of his playing time on the last two drives when Las Vegas was forced to go to the air.

Those who have been keeping up have noticed that Pratt, Allen and Akeem Davis-Gaither usually were rotated based on situations during the game. Unfortunately, Davis-Gaither was placed on injured reserve following the loss to the Cleveland Browns.

It seems with more of a focus on having Pratt out there paid dividends this week as he made several plays in the running game and on short passes. He also was quick to help finish off tackles that might have otherwise been broken. It will be something to watch to see hoe much playing time Pratt gets in the future against more pass happy teams, but he did a great job this week.

Bengals rely on starters

Cincinnati came out with a clear plan of not rotating players that much. Even on defense the two top backups were Allen and B.J. Hill (25) while they mostly had the same 11 guys out there. Offensively, they obviously rotated guys like C.J. Uzomah, Drew Sample Tyler Boyd and Mixon, but outside of that they didn’t have to make any wholesale changes to what they’ve done all year on offense.

One has to wonder if this was a product of the game’s flow, but it worked this week. If thing had been the other way, would Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson close to 90 percent of the snaps like they did today? It will be something to watch as that seemed to be an issue the past couple of games for Cincinnati.

Highlighting the few backups who made differences

Wide receiver Stanley Morgan shouldn’t have people question why he is on the roster any longer. First, he is one of the better gunners on punt coverage in the NFL. Second, he is one of the best blockers of Cincinnati’s skill position players. It clearly catches defenders off guard to have a 200 pound receiver block them like a tight end. The Bengals would be smart to work him more into the passing game as teams try and use him being in the game as a tell for a running play.

Rookie running back Chris Evans got 10 plays this week, which included being the running back in during the two-minute drill before the end of the first half. He only ended up with one catch for seven yards, but he keeps looking like the pass catching back this team may turn to more often in a year or two as the backup to Mixon.

What were your takeaways?

Bengals snap counts against Raiders

POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
WR Tyler Boyd 52 70
WR Mike Thomas 8 11
WR Ja'Marr Chase 68 92
WR Auden Tate DNP DNP
WR Tee Higgins 59 80
WR Stanley Morgan 12 16
WR Trenton Irwin DNP DNP
OT Jonah Williams 74 100
OT Riley Reiff 74 100
OT Isaiah Prince 6 8
OT Fred Johnson DNP DNP
OG Jackson Carman -- --
OG Quinton Spain 74 100
OG Hakeem Adeniji 74 100
C Trey Hopkins 74 100
C Trey Hill -- --
TE C.J. Uzomah 54 73
TE Drew Sample 37 50
TE Mason Schreck -- --
QB Joe Burrow 74 100
QB Brandon Allen -- --
RB Joe Mixon 53 72
RB Samaje Perine 11 15
RB Chris Evans 10 14
DE Trey Hendrickson 41 87
DE Cam Sample 4 9
DE Sam Hubbard 40 85
DE Wyatt Ray 2 4
DE Khalid Kareem 7 15
DT D.J. Reader 24 51
DT Larry Ogunjobi 38 81
DT Josh Tupou 9 19
DT B.J. Hill 25 53
DT Tyler Shelvin DNP DNP
LB Logan Wilson 45 96
LB Germaine Pratt 32 68
LB Joe Baiche -- --
LB Markus Bailey 3 6
LB Clay Johnston -- --
CB Mike Hilton 44 94
CB Chidobe Awuzie 47 100
CB Tre Flowers 1 2
CB Jalen Davis -- --
CB Darius Phillips -- --
CB Eli Apple 47 100
CB Vernon Hargreaves DNP DNP
S Ricardo Allen 14 30
S Vonn Bell 47 100
S Jessie Bates III 47 100
S Michael Thomas -- --