The Browns had a shot to beat the Chiefs on Sunday, which is more than we can say for many of their recent performances. In the second half especially they were very competitive, but ultimately did not make enough plays to win. As usual, we take a look at the snap counts to see what we can find.
A couple of things stood out immediately, the first of which was how little substituting the Browns did as a whole against the Chiefs. The Browns used just 16 players on offense, including a 3-play game from E.J. Bibbs. Defensively the Browns played 18, which is low for them. Kansas City only ran 54 plays in the game, which helped the cause as the Browns did not have to substitute much in the second half.
On offense, Marlon Moore suffered a concussion early in the game. Moore had been a workhorse for the Browns recently, and after his injury that duty fell to Darius Jennings who played the lion-share of snaps at WR. Dwayne Bowe played more snaps against the Chiefs than any other team this season, but was targeted just once on the day, a low throw that Bowe did not come up with on the sideline.
Manziel did not have a good day throwing the ball, completing just 13-of-32 for 136 yards and an interception. He did however post the first 100-yard rushing game ever by a QB for the Browns.
The Browns were effective running the ball, or at least getting yards in chunks on the ground. Isaiah Crowell ran hard and was decisive in his cuts picking up 88 yards on 16 carries for a 5.5 yard average. Duke Johnson was less efficient, but had a nice 11-yard run of his own.
On defense, what jumps off the page is that the Browns only used three cornerbacks in the game. Tramon Williams played every snap, Charles Gaines came very close and K’Waun Williams was the nickel. Safety Jordan Poyer was the dime back. That’s the extent. Both Gipson and Whitner played every snap as well. No Desir, or Campbell or even Bademosi.
Rookie Danny Shelton played just 19 snaps, splitting time evenly with Meder.
On special teams, the Browns throw the kitchen sink out there. The Browns used 37 (!) different players for special teams. The noteworthy special teams plays were obviously another blocked field goal, and the Jordan Poyer fake punt.