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Snap counts show Bengals defense tried to go big against Browns

The defense tried something a bit different, but it did not work.

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

It was frustrating to watch the Cincinnati Bengals fold to division their division rival Cleveland Browns yesterday. It seemed like the ball and breaks were all going in the Browns favor. However, the Bengals didn’t do much to create their own luck.

The defense spiraled for a second straight week, which brings up the concern over whether they can adjust to offenses figuring them out at this point. Meanwhile, the offense moved the ball well early, but too deep of a hole was dug early for them to even keep the game competitive.

How much information can we get from the snap counts?

The Bengals offense spent all day on the field

Cincinnati ran 75 offensive plays compared to the Browns 48. Big plays were the name of the game for Cleveland. A 99-yard interception for a touchdown, deep pass and long run all accounted for 21 points on the day. Cincinnati did a decent job of sustaining drives, but they failed to either reach scoring position or cash in often enough to really make an impact.

No variety from defense again

Last week we saw this defense get away from changing things up with the defenders next to Logan Wilson (48). This week they had about half the snaps, but they still failed to really mix things up that much. It seemed like Germaine Pratt (44) and Mike Hilton (22) were the two key guys to get most of the snaps there. Akeem Davis-Gaither (4) and Ricardo Allen (1) barely saw the field.

That isn’t to say Pratt and Hilton are bad players, but it did seem that one of the strengths early in this season was how often the Bengals changed up their personnel.

It also appears Cincinnati may have been running a serious amount of fronts with five defensive linemen on the field with Trey Hendrickson (34) and Sam Hubbard (44) acting as defensive ends/linebackers for a 3-4 type look. Josh Tupou and B.J. Hill each had 25 snaps on the day. Meanwhile, D.J. Reader and Larry Ogunjobi only missed 12 total snaps between them.

This game we also can’t hold it against the coaches for not rotating in fresh linemen as much since they hardly played this week, but it may be that they need to be rotating more to keep guys fresh. Still plenty of missed tackles from defensive linemen.

Hakeem Adeniji starts in return to action

Adeniji played the entire game at right guard, which benched rookie offensive lineman Jackson Carman despite him looking like a solid player recently. We have heard Adeniji be praised for how he can play essentially at spot on the offensive line. That makes the decision to bench the rookie who was starting to look promising a little questionable.

At the very least, Adeniji wasn’t a noticeable problem, and we will take that any time we can from an offensive lineman.

Quick notes

  • Tyler Boyd played 59 snaps, but he only ended the game with a single catch. Obviously, sometimes the way the defense attacks forces the ball elsewhere, but at this point Zac Taylor should have a few easy plays that gets Boyd the ball in his hands. Just something to keep an eye on.
  • We saw plenty of Stanley Morgan (14) and Mike Thomas (10) this week at wide receiver. This was also curious, but could be explained by the offense simply being gassed bay playing so many offensive plays to start the game.
  • Defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin made his debut this week playing on four plays. He has been a scratch each week up until this point.
  • Running back Chris Evans gets three plays in his return. He and Samaje Perine may see more of a split at the RB2 duties with Perine having a couple key mistakes in the day.

What is your takeaway from the snap counts?

Bengals snap counts against Browns

POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
WR Tyler Boyd 59 79
WR Mike Thomas 10 13
WR Ja'Marr Chase 71 95
WR Auden Tate DNP DNP
WR Tee Higgins 57 76
WR Stanley Morgan 14 19
WR Trenton Irwin DNP DNP
OT Jonah Williams 75 100
OT Riley Reiff 75 100
OT Isaiah Prince 1 1
OT Fred Johnson DNP DNP
OG Jackson Carman -- --
OG Quinton Spain 75 100
OG Hakeem Adeniji 75 100
C Trey Hopkins 69 92
C Trey Hill 6 8
TE C.J. Uzomah 48 64
TE Drew Sample 38 51
TE Mitchell Wilcox 2 3
QB Joe Burrow 69 92
QB Brandon Allen 6 8
RB Joe Mixon 47 63
RB Samaje Perine 25 33
RB Chris Evans 3 4
DE Trey Hendrickson 34 71
DE Cam Sample DNP DNP
DE Sam Hubbard 44 92
DE Wyatt Ray 1 2
DE Khalid Kareem 3 6
DT D.J. Reader 41 85
DT Larry Ogunjobi 43 90
DT Josh Tupou 25 52
DT B.J. Hill 25 52
DT Tyler Shelvin 4 8
LB Logan Wilson 48 100
LB Germaine Pratt 44 92
LB Joe Baiche -- --
LB Markus Bailey 3 6
LB Akeem Davis-Gaither 4 8
CB Mike Hilton 22 46
CB Chidobe Awuzie 46 96
CB Tre Flowers 1 2
CB Jalen Davis -- --
CB Darius Phillips -- --
CB Eli Apple 46 96
CB Vernon Hargreaves DNP DNP
S Ricardo Allen 1 2
S Vonn Bell 45 94
S Jessie Bates III 48 100
S Brandon Wilson -- --