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Chiefs Notebook: Four Defensive Backs Play Every Snap in Victory Over Chargers

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 38-28, on Sunday afternoon to kick off the season in the win column.

Here’s a look at the players on offense, defense and special teams that saw the most action on Sunday.

Offense

Table Extended
Player Position Offensive Snaps (Percentage of Total)
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Offensive Guard 56 (100 percent)
Cameron Erving Offensive Guard 56 (100 percent)
Eric Fisher Offensive Tackle 56 (100 percent)
Travis Kelce Tight End 56 (100 percent)
Patrick Mahomes Quarterback 56 (100 percent)
Mitch Morse Center 56 (100 percent)
Mitchell Schwartz Offensive Tackle 56 (100 percent)
Sammy Watkins Wide Receiver 51 (91 percent)
Tyreek Hill Wide Receiver 40 (71 percent)
Kareem Hunt Running Back 40 (71 percent)

Notes:

-Wide receiver Tyreek Hill recorded 40 offensive snaps (71 percent), catching seven passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. It was the second-best receiving day of Hill’s brief career, and the most receiving yards the Chargers have allowed to a single player since Week 7 of the 2016 season.

-Wide receiver Chris Conley, playing in his first regular season game since rupturing his Achilles tendon in Week 5 of last season, played 35 offensive snaps (62 percent). Conley had one catch for 15 yards in the game.

-Also returning to the field on Sunday was tailback Spencer Ware, who missed all of last season with a knee injury. Ware tallied nine offensive snaps (16 percent), rushing for 32 yards on three carries.

-Tight end Travis Kelce played every offensive snap, hauling in one catch for six yards. Head Coach Andy Reid pointed out that the Chargers made a concerted effort of covering the All-Pro tight end throughout the game, opening up opportunities for other players on offense.

Defense

Table Extended
Player Positon Defensive Snaps (Percentage of Total)
Kendall Fuller Cornerback 82 (100 percent)
Eric Murray Safety 82 (100 percent)
Steve Nelson Cornerback 82 (100 percent)
Ron Parker Safety 82 (100 percent)
Anthony Hitchens Linebacker 78 (95 percent)
Dee Ford Linebacker 73 (89 percent)
Orlando Scandrick Cornerback 68 (83 percent)
Justin Houston Linebacker 63 (77 percent)
Chris Jones Defensive End 60 (73 percent)
Allen Bailey Defensive End 55 (67 percent)

Notes:

-Four defensive backs played every defensive snap on Sunday: safeties Ron Parker (8 tackles) and Eric Murray (9 tackles) and cornerbacks Kendall Fuller (6 tackles) and Steve Nelson (8 tackles). Parker, who signed with Kansas City just last week, tallied an interception in the contest.

-Linebacker Anthony Hitchens was on the field for 78 defensive snaps (95 percent), recording a team-high 15 tackles (7 solo) in his first game with Kansas City. Hitchens is the first Chiefs’ player to tally 15-plus tackles in a single game since 2014.

Special Teams

Table Extended
Player Position Special Teams Snaps (Percentage of Total)
Jordan Lucas Safety 24 (80 percent)
Anthony Sherman Fullback 24 (80 percent)
Marcus Kemp Wide Receiver 20 (67 percent)
Dorian O'Daniel Linebacker 20 (67 percent)
Ben Niemann Linebacker 19 (63 percent)

Notes:

-Safety Jordan Lucas, who the Chiefs acquired from the Miami Dolphins last month, played a team-high 24 special teams snaps (80 percent) on Sunday. It’s no coincidence, as Special Teams Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach Dave Toub praised Lucas’ ability on special teams last week.

-Fullback Anthony Sherman also played 24 special teams snaps (80 percent), matching Lucas for the team-lead.

-Wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas, who was back on the field after suffering a broken leg in the 2017 regular-season finale, played 17 snaps on special teams (57 percent). Thomas returned two kicks for 33 yards and forced a fumble in punt coverage.

-Linebacker Dorian O’Daniel was active on special teams in his first regular season game as a professional, tallying 20 snaps (67 percent). Wide receiver Marcus Kemp also tallied 20 snaps on special teams.

-Undrafted rookie linebacker Ben Niemann, who earned a spot on the roster with an impressive preseason, played 19 special teams snaps (63 percent) before leaving the game with a hamstring injury.

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